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verdas

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Above: The semi-official flag of Kurdistan. Currently the flag of Iraqi Kurdistan. Banned in Iran, Syria and Turkey.


Hello, and welcome to Kurdistan Forever! This is a narrative AAR following the Kurdish house of Kayusid as they attempt to unify their people, despite being surrounded on all sides by far greater powers, from 867 A.D. onward.

The goal of this AAR will be to expand from a single province to a kingdom of all-Kurdistan, encompassing all Kurdish-cultured territories. I will attempt to make decisions based on the personality of whatever character I am currently playing, and Project Balance enforces this to some degree as well. My initial ruler is sheik Azad Kayusid, ruler of the province of Kermanshah and a custom character.

This is an Ironman game, using the Historical Immersion Project modification suite. While the HIP contains a number of mods, the key differences from vanilla are the use of the Somewhat More Historical map and Project Balance, which introduces a number of rules to prevent blobbing and create more realistic expansion. I heartily recommend them both. I have also opted to use the Speak English Dammit submod, so most titles are localized in English rather than the native tongue for the benefit of the reader. I am also using the Subtle Sounds mini-mod, but I don't expect you'll notice that.


A Note:
The issue of Kurdish independence continues to be a fraught one to this day. In no way to I intend this AAR to be an argument for the creation of a Kurdish state, a critique of those states with minority Kurdish populations, or to implicitly support any separatist movements. Likewise, this AAR will endeavor not to comment on or allude to any modern-day events or issues.
That being said, it is an indisputable fact that the Kurdish people are the world's largest stateless ethnic group, totaling approximately 30 million people with significant populations in four different countries. Historically, that population has often been ignored or at worst repressed, and thus the idea of Kurdish unification, even in the context of an AAR, will have some inherent parallels to the past century of Kurdish history.

Thankfully, things are for the most part looking better for the Kurdish people. Iraqi Kurdistan is the safest and wealthiest region in Iraq, and Turkey has recently relaxed a great many restrictions on the teaching of the Kurdish language and other cultural issues, as well as beginning to enter talks with the principal separatist movement.

I would also like to add that I am not an expert on the Kurdish people, Islam, or the history of the period, among other things. I would consider myself an interested amateur at best. While I would like this AAR to contain a historical flair, I lack the knowledge to ensure it does so. If anyone has comments or advice on the historicity of Kurdistan, Forever, I would love to hear from you.

BUT, at the end of the day, this is an after action report detailing my experience while playing a video game, so lets have fun!
 

verdas

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Part I. Introduction


“According to the chronicler Mighdisî, the first town to be built after Noah's Flood was the town of Judi, followed by the fortresses of Sinjar and Mifariqin. The town of Judi was ruled by Melik Kürdim of the Prophet Noah's community, a man who lived no less than 600 years and who travelled the length and width of Kurdistan. Coming to Mifariqin he liked its climate and settled there, begetting many children and descendants. He invented a language of his own, independent of Hebrew. It is neither Hebrew nor Arabic, Farsi, Dari or Pahlavi; they still call it the language of Kürdim. So the Kurdish language, which was invented in Mifariqin and is now used throughout Kurdistan, owes its name to Melik Kürdim of the community of the Prophet Noah. Because Kurdistan is an endless stony stretch of mountains, there are no less than twelve varieties of Kurdish, differing from one another in pronunciation and vocabulary, so that they often have to use interpreters to understand one another's words.” - Ottoman Turkish traveller Evliya Çelebi, in his masterpiece The Seyâhatnâme.


A modern-day map of Kurdish settlement, ca. 1992 by the CIA


From the source of the mighty Euphrates high in southern Anatolia to the perilous Zargos Mountains of western Persian, the Kurds have remained. Straddling the Pathway of Conquerors, they have weathered a great many foreign kings – not least because few of their nominal overlords have cared to venture into their mountains. From the steep cliffs, brutal winters, scalding summers and a hardy, territorial people, the lands of Kurdistan have always proven difficult to subdue. Few are the great rulers of the land who did not have to contend with Kurdish revolts. Be they Assyrian kings, Greek soldiers, or Arab Emirs, the Kurds have resisted.


Kurdish women in traditional dress

The Kurds belong to a branch of the Indo-Iranian language family, although their exists numerous dialects of Kurdish itself. Traditionally, Kurdish culture has been pastoral or lightly agricultural. They are distinct both in language, culture, and often religion from the recently-arrived Arabs to the west and south. The Arab conquerors, who erupted out of the Peninsula under the green banner of the Prophet some two hundred years ago, brought Islam with them, adding it to the already existing religious milieu. The Yazidi are the oldest of these, an ancient religion of the Kurds related to Persian Zoroastrianism, although there are Christian and even Jewish Kurds as well.



As the year 867 Anno Domini, or 245 Anno Hijra, dawns, the Kurdish people are under the suzantry of a number of different rulers. To the south and west, the Caliph al-Mu'tazz of the house of al-Abbas reigns over the Fertile Crescent. Although he is descended from the Prophet himself, and as Caliph anointed ruler of the world by The Greatest, Allah, many of those Emirs who pay him homage are unhappy. Perhaps because because they hold to the line of Ali as the true inheritors of the Prophet, because they worship the Messiah Isa as the son of Allah, or because the Caliph himself is cruel, arbitrary and altogether incompetent, a revolt is brewing.



This era is called the Anarchy at Samara, as rival factions within the court of the Caliph seek to place a favored pretender – or puppet – on the throne. Al-Mu'tazz himself is backed by the Turkish arm of the military; however, the Persians, Berbers, Levantines and Moors are preparing to fight as well. Others however, existing on the peripheries of Abbasid power, have become effectively independent, and now seek to forge their own destinies. The banu Tulun are the most powerful to cast off the athourity of the Caliph, ruling independently the great land of Misr, called Aegyptos by the lords of Rum.

Less impressive, less well known, is the banu Dulaf. Rising from an obscure background involving both banditry and mercantilism, the Arab Dulafids settled in the city of Karaj, over time becoming the hereditary governors in the service of the Caliph. This, too is no longer the case. Under the Emir al-Aziz , the Dulafid Emirate has established effective autonomy, and although the Caliph may yet reassert his authority over the mountainous region. Likewise, the mighty banu Tahir of Persia may look westward for expansion.



While the Dulafids are Arab, the three provinces that make up their Emirate are not. Al-Aziz himself controls the eastern, Persian lands. To the west, however, lies the ancient Kurdish city of Kermansha. It is here that al-Aziz' authority effectively ends; for although he has obtained the vassalage of the Kurds, they demanded he place one of their own in charge. The Dulufid Emir conceded, and a local Kurdish chieftain was chosen to be Sheik of Kermansha and the surrounding lands. His name is Azad, of the Kayusid tribe.

 

volksmarschall

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Good luck, I'll be following.

Cheers!