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Death of the
Holy Father





Gerardino da Lucari was more than pleased with how things had gone with the Pope. The Pontiff, the most blessed of old men - friendly in personal conversation, and truly to be beautified someday as the true one Holy Pontiff of Christiandom, and the Duke of Siena thought well of him, and with the utmost respect.

Yet he had no idea the man was dying. All men of age look in poor health, he thought to himself, when he had been summoned by the Holy Father. The Duke was distraught nearly when he had learned that it was his Holiness's deathbed.

Kneeling by his bedside, the Gerardino de Lucari felt tears flow from his eyes as he watched the old man, and listened to his final words.


"Holy Father, I promise you in life I will do everything to uphold your word. I promise you, your Holiness... I promise.." And he then broke down in tears.
A man whom had truly given him everything he had, who had befriended him in the last few days... a man who had been more of a father to him than his own, was dead.

He crossed himself reverently as a white sheet was lain over the Holy Father's body.

Gerardino da Lucari locked himself inside his personal chamber for the night, with maps, diplomatic papers, some state spending figures recently drawn up...
He would do everything to fight for the cause of the Church, for the rest of his life.

 

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Now began the long, solemn, and tearful procession from Urban's deathbed in Siena to his resting place in the Great Cathedral of Saint Peter. The Supreme Pontiff, wrapped in his traditional garments, was placed on an elegant stretcher, inside a large carriage, and moved to Rome, followed by all the Cardinals in the College, and then by the laity. The Parade was beautiful, as the carriage stopped infront of the Basilica, and Urban was layed to rest.

After a Mass was said, all the Cardinals, led by Pietro Cardinal Tomacelli, were locked inside a Room in the Basillica, and so began the deliberations for the election of the 103d Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
 

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The Senior Cardinal Deacon, Adam Easton, stood at the Central Balcony of Saint Peter's Basillica. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the white smoke from the burnt ballots still pluming from the chimney. He looked down at the crowd of gathered Romans. He let out a great smile, and spoke the words said so many times before him.

Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum; Habemus Papam: Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Philippus, Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem d'Alençon, Qui sibi nomen imposuit Gregorius Duodecimus.


The crowd erupted with cheering as the former Patriarch of Jerusalem walked out in his Papal Robes. With a great smile on his face, Gregory raised his hand and gave his first Papal Benediction:

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, Amen.

Gregory then went back inside Saint Peter's Basillica, to await transportation to the Castel and the many problems which now plagued Christendom.
 

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The Sons of Abbas

Faced with challenges from within, the Abbasids decided to create an army loyal only to their caliphate, drawn mostly from Turkish slaves, known as Mamluks, with some Slavs and Berbers participating as well. This force, created in the reign of al-Ma'mun (813 - 833), and his brother and successor al-Mu'tasim (833 - 842), prevented the further distintegration of the empire.

It also, however, led to the ultimate eclipse of Abbasid rule. The creation of this foreign army and al-Mu'tasim's transfer of the capital from Baghdad to Samarra created a division between the caliphate and the peoples they claimed to rule. In addition, the power of the Mamluks steadily grew until al-Radi (934 - 941) was constrained to hand over most of the royal functions to Mahommed bin Raik. In the following years the Buyids, who were Shi'ites, seized power over Baghdad, ruling central Iraq for more than a century before being overthrown by the Seljuq Turks. In the same period, the Hamdanids, another Shi'ite dynasty, came to power in northern Iraq, leading to a tremendous expansion of Shi'a influence. In the process the Abbasid caliphs became no more than figureheads.

Centuries past, Baghdad was burned to the ground in 1258 and the Abbasids took refugee in Egypt where a shadow of their former ruler presided under the Turkic Mamelukes.Al-Wathiq the II , the current Caliph, took the mantle of the ghostly Caliphate when his brother Al-Muttawakil abdicated.

*********************

The day of Ashura was not celebated in Egypt, as it symbolized the Shia mourning to the death of Ali.Umar or al-Wathiq as he was nicknamed by his clan obligated himself to the Mosque of Al-Babari, a shrine within the palace of Al-Azzfar, designated to them by the "generous" Turkish Sultans.Although Umar was not a shia, and still adhered to the sunnah, he ritually prayed every year on the day of Ashur, more of a tradition really than a religious practice.

Wearing his Abbasid turban ( an old practice still kept alive by the Caliphs ) he prayed with the Ismaili and Shia followers within the Mosque.It was not uncommon for Al-Qahirah to have such a wide following of Shiitism, for the influence of the Fatamid Caliphate still plauges Egypt, even at the best efforts of the Sunni Clergy and Imams.Joining the faithful, he was submerged into prayer.Once the Salat (prayers) ended he secluded himself to one of the corners of the Mosque to read the Quran in peace.


Hypnotizied by the verses of the sweet God above, he didnt reply to at first to the friendly "Assalam Alekum" ,on which the greeter insisted again until the Caliph awoke from his trance."..Sorry brother, Wa Alekyum assalam wa ar-Rahma.May I inquire what do you wish?".The man before him, of average height and build, clad in a black robe and turban , seated himself gently beside Umar.

"Can brothers not enjoy each others company?" Umar put the Quran aside, he had a strange feeling that he knew this man"No...there is no ill, what name do you go by?" the Arab before him comfortably leaned on the column of the Mosque "By Abdul Qadir bin Munthir, from the city of Anna in Iraq".The Caliph sighed, the mere mension of Iraq saddened him.Abdul Qadir squinted his eyes at the Caliph "Lord al-Wathiq, I come bearing a message from the Governor of Dimasq (Damascus) , he has arranged a transport for you to come to Syria, he has an important matter to discuss with you my lord ".

"Dimashiq?" the Caliph was confounded, what could the Emir of Al-Sham want with him?he didnt have any political power to partake anything within the court of Barqûq al-Yalburghâwî and he wasnt exactly blessed by Allah in terms of wealth "what ever for?what is this matter you speak of?".

"Mylord, I am nothing but a herald carrier, you are to come to Syria at the earliest possible moment" the Caliph bit his lower lip "What will I tell the Sultan?I cant go to Dimashq so suddenly, he may suspect something, and you must be aware of his ruthlessness".The Arab arose "You are the Caliph of Islam, surly the Mosque of the Ummayeds needs a tabarra" and with that, the man disappeared into the throng of worshippers.

"To Syria Allah takes me, let us see what the heavens have in store for me..."
 
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A matter of faith


In the lands of Hungary couriers were for a time very busy as letters was delivered to all corners of the Kingdom. The letters were for prominent members of the noble houses. The content of the letters was as follows.

Onto the noble Lords of Hungary,

Know that the pretender Charles of Durazzo has aligned himself with the servants of Satan. At this point in time they have agreed to an alliance with the mongol hordes. The very horde that has in the past invaded this very Hungary. The very horde that threatens the lives and property of all hungarians. The horde that wishes nothing but enslave us.

For this the life and soul of Charles of Durazzo is surely forfeit, destined to an eternity in Hell. Know thy enemy, for he has revealed himself. Know him for what he is, oathbreaker, kinslayer, vile blasphemer.​

Attached to the letter was the copy of a treaty.

Pact of Brindisi-Sarai
Alliance between the Kingdom of Naples and the Golden Horde​

With the growing ties of friendship between the Golden Horde and Naples, the rulers of both Kingdoms have in their wisdom decided to set this friendship down in writing, in honour of their common goals and objectives.


Article I: In the event of an attack on either Naples or the Golden Horde, the other kingdom pledges to send either military or economic aid to help repel the invader.

Article II:
i) If either Kingdom declares war on a third party, the other Kingdom pledges to send support, either in men or in funds.
ii) Before war is declared, the ally must be given warning.
iii) The only exception to i) is an attack on a third party which is a known ally of either kingdom, by the other kingdom; in that instance the attacking Kingdom releases the other from their obligations.

Article III: An attack on either kingdom is to be considered a direct attack on the other.

Article IV: Both kingdoms pledge not to sign a separate peace in a common war.

Article V: Both kingdoms pledge not to send aid to the foe of the other, in times of war, in the occasion that either of the kingdoms undertake a war in which the other cannot be bound to join (by the terms of Article II, iii).

Article VI: The treaty will be confirmed by a royal marriage, at a later date.

[x] Charles, King of Naples, Jerusalem, and Albania, et cetera.
[x] Toqtamish, Great Khan of the Golden Horde,etc.
 
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Encyclical letter: Investigatio Noster




In the name of the holy & indivisible Trinity, Father & Son & Holy Ghost. Amen.



Clement, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God; to his Venerable Brethren, the Patriarchs, the Primates, the Archbishops & the Bishops & the Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See; & likewise to all the faithful believers in the One True Church, Universal & Apostolic, these chosen ones of God, who are subject to Us as to Peter, the one & only shepherd appointed by Christ to become the head of His mystical body: Greetings & Apostolic Benediction.



OUR SEARCH for the next King of Mallorca is finally over, this We announce with very great joy in Our heart; for it is not good for a Kingdom not to have a King, and the Kingdom of Mallorca had to suffer this miserable state of affairs ever since the King Peter, who once lawfully acquired it, lost it due to his known misdeeds more than a year ago. We were very careful in Our search, taking into account both a candidate's hereditary rights and -- more importantly -- his virtues as a Christian and as a ruler. We have listened to all claimants and We have consulted with numerous scholars and holy men, evaulating carefully all evidences and claims.

We have concluded, amongst other things, that our son the King Peter of Aragonia acquired the islands from his cousin, the King James of Mallorca, legally and lawfully, for that James was indeed Peter's vassal by law and custom; and the King Peter had all rights to revoke the fief of Mallorca when the said James ceased to perform his duties as a vassal; this very fact was indeed duly approved by Our predecessor of holy memory, Clement the Sixth.

Therefore the claim of Marquis Theodore of Montferrat We declare null and void; for even though he is indeed the primal heir of that James, his claim is invalid since the King James was stripped of his titles and possessions legally. And thus We herewith do charge, order and command our son the Marquis Theodore to peacefully leave the said islands at once, taking nothing with himself, admitting the invalidity of his claims We proved illegal above.

Considering the above, it is very clear indeed that the rightful heir of Mallorca must be found amongst the descendants of Peter of Aragonia; but the said Peter stripped himself and his successors of his rights of inheritance by his misdeeds that are well-known to all of you.

But when We were beginning to feel unable to solve this quest of Ours, the Lord God has come to Our aid; for the Prince Martin, junior son of the King Peter, driven by the Holy Spirit, has come to Us as a pilgrim, wearing a sackcloth garment. And he came to Us very much unlike the others, he came not to present his claims, he did not boast questionable virtues and dubious claims on the islands; rather, he came to defend his father, to beg for Our pardon. And as he spoke We marvelled at his wisdom, his austere lifestyle and his numerous other virtues. Immediately recognizing that this Prince Martin does, indeed, possess both the virtues and descence necessary to become King of Mallorca, We have offered him the crown, and though he initially refused, we finally managed to persuade him to accept the duty.

Let it be known to all of you that We shall crown Martin of Aragonia King of Mallorca by Our own hands in two weeks time. A sovereign ruler he shall be, vassal to no one but the Church, Universal and Apostolic. As such, he shall be named a Standard-Bearer of the Church.

And should the King Martin die without a male heir, his daughter shall inherit. And should he sire not even daughters, which God forbid, the Kingdom of Mallorca shall revert back onto the Universal and Apostolic Church.​

Given in Avignon, in the Year of the Incarnation of Our Lord MCCCLXXXIV, in the sixth year of Our Pontificate and fifth year of Our Exile.



Clemens PP. VII



 

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The Sons of Abbas

The Caliph was led by a group of emasculated enunchs, black men from the Zanji lands , though they had nubian facials by his reckoning.They escorted him through the maze of columns and rooms of the Damascian citadel, the fort of Emir Jadi of the ancient Gassasina tribe, the old and traditional defenders of Persia from the arabs of old, before even the rise of the crescent over Mecca.The Gassasini taste for Persia seemed obvious everywhere, Shirazi columns, Isfahani rugs and Yazadi pottery.

Umar expected meeting the Emir of Syria in an opulant room of gracious and overly generous hall or chamber, but to his shock and confoundment he was led into a Sirdab.Upon entering it, one of the Nubians revealed with the flick of torch a secret spiral staircase.The large oaff gestured with his hand that the Caliph would be the first to go first.Reluctantly the Abbasid descended on the stairs, the flickering of the torches held by the nubians behind him danced on the walls.In the end of the stairs, (which to Umar seemed endless) they reached a labyrinth, lavishly furnished in the recognized princly manner of the Arabs.Though to the Strong Muslim Umar, the strange trinkets and manuscripts scattered and stacked carelessly throughout the room made him nervous.

"So the Caliph of Islam graces my humble Gazir" the voice of the Emir echoed throughout the room.The Caliph turned his head to the source, a finely dressed Arab Emir with strong Persian blood in him, en eminent trait in all the Gassasina."Ahhh Emir Jadi, may I ask what is this matter of great importance that you wish to discuss with me?It is no easy matter to drag me half of Goddamn Assham without any reason".The Emir grinned, Umar identified a slight sinister tone "Oh but it is my Caliph, you must put Thiqa (trust) in me as your nickname suggests oh al-Wattiq (that he who trusts)" the Caliph frowned "I trust only Allah".The Emir circled the Caliph several times as they conversed, like a hawk keeping its eye on a prey."Allah...yes, he is supreme.Come my Caliph, let us take comfort, your trip must have been hardous and tiresome." Umar complied and seated himself on the feathered pillows , the Emir joining him with complacancy.

"My Caliph , how is the state of thy dynasty under the Georgians?" Umar was taken aback, the man had insulted his superiors, though he didnt hold any love for them either, coming from an Emir , and one who weilded all of Al-Sham, was shocking "Surly, such an insult would warrent the loss of your tongue?" Jadi laughed "Worry not , only Allah can hear us" the Caliph's eyes lingered on the nubians, alerted by their presence "They are mute my Caliph, rest assured ".Umar sighed "It saddens my heart to have these....barbaric brigades holding the throne of Islam, how can one not fall into the throes of depression and disgust?to think that some meager...Turks sit on an Arab throne boils my blood!Mind you brother, I do not hold bitter hate in my heart, merely anger at the strange change of position without the realms of Islam, how can we accept the rulership of the mere slave over the master?true, the Mamelukes have given us refuge, but have also enslaved us , like puppets we do their bidding!".The Emir nodded approvingly "The words you speak are true, thus my invite, I bear a letter for you, though its penner is long dead, lying in the asylum of Jaddyir in Baghdad " the Caliph cocked an eyebrow, a letter?the Emir handed him a delicatly kept piece of preserved papyrus.The Caliph unraveled it slowly.


The Caliph dropped the scroll, his hands shaking uncontrollably.He looked at the Emir "Is...is..this authentic?" Jadi nodded his head."And you?" the Caliph pointed at him with question, gasping at the mere thought of it.Again, the Gassani tugged his head forward "yes...I am the warlock of Necromon...".Umar sweated purposfully, it was overwhelming , how, what , where?.

"I understand you may have..difficulty understanding this, but we are your allies to power".Umar calmed a bit "Why werent my fathers contacted then?al-Mutasim?al-Qanih?" it was a justified question.The Emir smirked "The stars werent right, Al-Akkad and Shuran smile upon you" the Caliph gasped "Astrology!?Haram!" Jadi dismissed the remark "No it is not, now come, I have much to tell you".

......To be continued

 
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Encyclical letter: Filippus Fratris Antea Clarissimo




In the name of the holy & indivisible Trinity, Father & Son & Holy Ghost. Amen.



Clement, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God; to his Venerable Brethren, the Patriarchs, the Primates, the Archbishops & the Bishops & the Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See; & likewise to all the faithful believers in the One True Church, Universal & Apostolic, these chosen ones of God, who are subject to Us as to Peter, the one & only shepherd appointed by Christ to become the head of His mystical body; and especially to Our astrayed brother, Philip, of the House of Alençon: Greetings & Apostolic Benediction.



PHILIP, ONCE BELOVED BROTHER in Christ, of all the injuries inflicted upon the Lord God and his Mystical Body by their prosecutors and enemies, the most painful for Us were the wounds made by you. For We hear you now call yourself Bishop of Rome, using the name 'Gregory', this way abusing and berating the name of Our predecessor of holy memory, Gregory the Eleventh, who was Our master and fatherly friend. And not only that: if only you and your fellow schismatics, these false cardinals created by the schismatic usurper Bartholomew Prignano, had any care for the fate of the Church, Universal and Apostolic, you would have notified Us right after the death of that Prignano. For then We could have followed the advice of the learned scholars of the University of Paris, and We would have considered to peacefully abdicate, to let the cardinals of both obeidences gather together to elect the Bishop of Rome who would have been accepted by the entire Christianity, for the greater glory of God.

But you, Philip of the House of Alençon, and your schismatic fellows, you care not for the fate of the Christendom, you care not for the glory of God, you care only for your own benefit. You decided to get elected with a demonic speed, leaving no time for negotiations, this way proving that you are indeed guilty of the excommunicating sin of schism.

Therefore We wish it to be known to all of you, beloved children and venerable brethren, that the usurper Philippe of Alençon and his household, having by their own deeds been excommunicated, are herewith declared by Us the enemies of God and the Holy Church. We herewith declare them cursed, condemned, cast out, cut off from the Mystical Body of Christ, out of which there is no salvation. And for most severe crimes against the humanity and the Church, We declare the said Philippe of Alençon deposed of his offices, stripped of any and all rights of inheritance, stripped of his titles and dispossessed of his properties: the estates formerly owned by the said Philippe of Alençon shall be given to Our beloved son, the Count Pierre of Alençon. And We absolve his former subjects from any and oaths of obedience to him, and on the pain of excommunication We forbid all Christians from serving or obeying him in any way. He and his household shall be given no shelter, nor food, he shall not be protected nor defended by the laws of men and God.

Moreover, even though the interdict laid on the city of Rome and the territories of the Patrimony of St. Peter in rebellion against Us expired with the death of the usurper Bartholomew Prignano, this command of interdict shall be renewed by Us: so long as the usurper Philip of Alençon, schismatic and heretic, is in power in the aforesaid territories, all ecclesiastical courts and all churches there shall be closed, no Masses shall be celebrated, no confessions shall be heard, all sacraments, except the last rite, shall be withheld.

Moreover, let it be known that all the clergy and laity who dares to ignore these commands of Ours shall be ipso facto excommunicated.

Furthermore, herewith We command all the former subjects of that Philip of Alençon to rise up against the usurper. Any city that resists the yoke of the schismatic shall be forgiven by Us for its former crimes; and any city that tears down the banners of the usurper shall be given by Us the status of a Free City.

And We also call Our venerable brethren, the prelates in the service of the usurper, to come to Us in a properly servile and humble manner, begging for Our forgiveness, and We promise they shall be forgiven by Us.​


Given in Avignon, in the Year of the Incarnation of Our Lord MCCCLXXXIV, in the sixth year of Our Pontificate and fifth year of Our Exile.



Clemens PP. VII



 
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A Fourth Wife


Toqtamish Khan releases a prisoner in celebration of his wedding

You shall go free and your crimes are forgotten. Eat, drink, and be merry this day, but remember the grace of your master on earth, I, the Khan of Khans, and your master above.​

The Khan waved for his servants to escort the man out of the tent while he prepared for the marriage ceremony. It was to be an ecumenical affair, with both an Italian priest and Mevlana Mustafa bin Yusuf al-Misir presiding. On top of this, traditional Mongol aspects of the ceremony were hightened; this was a poltical message as much as anything else. It signals that dispite the small number of Mongols and the tolerant nature of the state, this is a Mongol state.


Maria, the Italian bride, dressed in the finest Oriental clothes

The Khan waited with the clergymen and guests before the great Golden Pavilion while the bride's procession made its way through the camp accompanied by music, singing, and the ululating of the bridesmaids. Teh bride herself rode upon a camel (which looked all the larger because of her slight size), lead by a Chinese eunuch. She was dress in the best of Mongol bridal finery and her face "shone like the sun," said one of the emirs. The wives of the Khan stood by stonefaced, but he was quite pleased and wished to hurry the procedings along.


The Mevlana

The Mevlana bound the hands of the two with silk and then blessed and confirmed the marriage; the priest then followed, doing the same. Everyone then ran to the tent of Emir Tangut where the wedding feast was to be held. All ate much and drank too much. There were many toasts and also many curses said, some against the Liths, some against the Maygars, and some against old Timurleng. In the midst of this revelry, few noticed that the Khan and his bride left the tent earlier in the evening to have their own fun that night in the Golden Pavilion away from the prying eyes and ears of their subjects
 

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The Sons of Abbas

The Caliph was flabber gasted , the whole situation was that of fairytales, like the stories of Sharazad and the one thousand and one nights.To think, his great ancestor Harun Ar-Rashid left him a message from the past!and what was more amazing, the time length was perhaps more or less seven centuries.Emir Jadi , the Syrian Emir led the way into another section of the Zirdab, hidden by the prevading darkness.He lit a torch dunked in oil Zaddir, a powerful elixir the Arabs have mastered for centuries.The torch's fire flickered, and as a composer, forced the shadows of the room to dance on its faint music.

They reached a small library filled with dusty manuscripts and scattered tombs, catching only gabar and cobwebs.The Emir gently fixtured the torch on a handle and sighed."Perpahs it is wise for me to tell you of the Order's history?We were established under the wing of Harun Ar-Rashid, the master of Baghdad.He forsaw all thus after the Shaffar spoke to him, the Star of Kolkat told him of what will happen to Bani Abbas.We are but your loyal retainers my lord Caliph, true master of Islam..." the Caliph was mellow "You speak of a 'We' " the Emir gave a slight laugh "Many have taken the oath, Abdul Jazi of Dimyat, Prince Turkan of Palestine, the Al-Ashraf of Mecca,the Aziddi Imams of Al-Azhar, and others I dare not count.Many from the greater strate of society my Caliph" Al-Wathiq didnt expect this, but then again, what was there NOT to expect?layers upon layers, best just go with the flow of things "Continue then....".

"..Where was I?ahhh yes, the Order was formally founded in 158 After the Higra of the Prophet peace be upon him.We never really functioned as an Order until the time of Caliph Al-Muqtafi, when his life was threatened by the Assasins of the old mountain.Since then, weve taken a pledge of readying ourself against the upcoming dangers.The dynasty became more or less a shell , and we were forced to take more extreme measures with each passing year.It was only through our efforts that the Abbasids still weilded an influence in Al-Iraq, Iraq al-Ajam and Basrah.It was we who directed the Seljuks to partake the Abbasids as friends, and it was we whom formulated the last defence of Basrah against the Mongoloids.It was the Order which saved the Abbasid line may I add...."

"Prior to his invasion of the Middle East, Hulagu asked the Abbasid caliph, al-Muta'sim, the thirty-seventh of his dynasty, to recognize Mongol sovereignty as his predecessors had once accepted the rule of the Seljuk Turks. The prince of the faithful, overconfident of his own prestige, sent word to the conqueror that any attack on his capital would mobilize the entire Muslim world, from India to north west Africa. Not in the least impressed, the grandson of Genghis Khan announced his intention of taking the city by force. Towards the end of 1257 he and, it would appear, hundreds of thousands of cavalry began advancing towards the Abbasid capital. On heir way they destroyed the Assassin’s sanctuary at Alamut and sacked it’s library of inestimable value, thus making it for impossible for future generations to gain any in-depth knowledge of the doctrine and activities of the sect. When the caliph finally realized the extent of the threat, he decided to negotiate. He proposed that Hulagu’s name be pronounced at Friday sermons in the mosques of Baghdad and that he be granted the title sultan. But it was too late, for by now the Mongol had definitely opted for force. After a few weeks of courageous resistance, the prince of the faithful had no choice but to capitulate. On the 10th of February 1258 he went to the victor’s camp in person and asked if he would promise to spare the lives of all the citizens if they agreed to lay down there arms. But in vain. As soon as they were disarmed, the Muslim fighters were exterminated. Then the Mongol horde fanned out through the prestigious city demolishing buildings, burning neighbourhoods, and mercilessly massacring men, women, and children- nearly eighty thousand people in all. Only the Christian community was spared, thanks to the intercession of the Khan’s wife. The prince of the faithful was himself strangled to death a few days after his defeat.Of course, his children were taken to saftey, though Ali, his son, died.Thus the life of Dorriya and Mustasi became ever precious.We had no choice but to take refuge with the Mamelukes, and their uncle Al-Mustasim eventually became the first puppet Caliph in Cairo.The Order , entrenching the Caliphs under the Turks, began expanding in all direction, secretly growing, accumulating wealth , striking alliances, and weilding more power.The stars have spoken to us my Caliph, the time has come to drive out the Turks from the lands of the Arabs and bring back the true Abbasid line.You are of Ahyl Al-Bayet, you are the rightful ruler of the Imamate!.Will you partake this cause?the faithful yearn for a better master, we have the means to shatter the Mongoloids forever!".

"You speak of insurrection then?Sultan Yaqub Barquq has no mercy in his heart, he is more ruthless than Timujin Khan of the Orientals.How can we face the Mameluki army?"

"That has already been planned.We shall purify Al-Sham from the Mamelukes and since I am the Emir of Syria, that shall be an easy task, and Al-Qahirah will never know better.I have already dispatched for the followers of the Cult, they shall bring forth the talismans for the ritual of Bodan..."

"Ritual?" the Caliph spitted the word, the idea of using magic means was horrid."Fear not, it is a matter I shall undertake, you can be sure it will not affect thee, nor any good muslim."

"Allah frowns upon this!" Umar countered."Allah frowns not on our just cause.
We are the faithful Mujjahedin.Away from this matter, for us to make the cause known, you shall give a speech in Dimasqh after the Jummha prayers, this will ignite the cause and bring the people of Al-Sham under our cloak.If Syria embraces you as Caliph of Islam, we shall surly be victorious!".

~The Covenant of Dimashq~
*************************

It was but another lazy day in Damascus, the bazzars, awaiting the eminent Call to prayer were already closed.The faithful flocked to the main mosque of the Ummayeds, the focal point of Islam within the ancient city of Dimasqh, home of the Assyrians, the Tajjuk, Persians, Byzantines, and now, the Muslims.When the hasid of Muslims presided into the Mosque, some red the Quran, some conversed on Islamic shariah, others prayed silently.A few moments later, the Azan was raised, and the Muzzien chanted the eternal phrase , the proffession of the greatness of Islam "La Illaha illa Allah, Mohammadan Rasul Allah" - There is no God but God and Mohammed is his Messenger.

Once the Azan ended, the Sheik of the Mosque, an old Syrian of more or less eighty seven years of age arose from the ranks of worshippers, standing in front of the first line.He ushered the muslims to tight lines, lest Shaitan prevails into the line of worship.He lifted his hands into the air , to his ear, and began the prayers.

In unity the Worshippers bowed and prostrated themselves to the lord.Their prayers mixed in the crowd.A merchant prayed for a good profit,a newly wed for fine children, another for more dinari, and one or two for paradise.Their hopes and dreams were attatched to Allah, their sins and guilt to the lord, they cherish him, fear him, and love him.The mood of spirituality was only broken by the Imam when he declared the end of the prayers in his barely audible voice "Salamu Alekum".The faithful shuffled, keeping their eyes on the ailing sheik.He did not move, and instead,a man, of distinguished characteristics stoof upon the Minbar.All the eyes in the Masjid were transfixed on the new speaker.

"In the name of Allah, the Merciful and Great, We thank thee for everything, verily we return unto you, you are the first and the end.All gracious thanks is to you, sustainer of the heavens and the creation.

Ama Bad (and thus) ....

Allah says ~Verily, this Brotherhood Of yours is a single Brotherhood, And I am your Lord And Cherisher: therefore Serve Me (and no other). And verily this Brotherhood Of yours is a single Brotherhood And I am your Lord And Cherisher: therefore Fear Me (and no other) And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves and remember with gratitude Allah's favor on you for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by his grace Ye became brethren and ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make his signs clear to you, that ye may be guided. ~

The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said:"There will be Nabuwa with Rehma (prophethood with Mercy). The there will be Khilafah with Ba’yah (pledge). Then Allah will change it when He wishes. Then there will be Mulkan ‘Adoodan (Rule by force). Then Allah will change it when He wishes. Then there will be Mulkan Jabriya (against people’s will). Then Allah will change it when He wishes. Then there will be Khilafah Ala Minhajin Nabuwa (on the path of prophethood). The earth and the sky will bestow their treasures.".

People of Dimashq, I stand before you!Caliph Wathiq II of the Abbasid line!of Qurayish, I come from the Sulib of the Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him.I stand before you oh Ahyl Al-Sham in the sake of a pledge. Allah says "O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allâh, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allâh is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allâh is Ever Well*Acquainted with what you do." .

I ask you of faithful of Islam, the Hasid of the Sunnah, injustice prevails everywhere, the Turkic idolters rule the lands of the Arabs.The Mongols, whom Allah has cursed and isolated from his mercy take the title of Sultans and Woolat al-Amir (People of Rule) by force!The hadith I said earlier speaks of their ruler, and now comes the time of restoration, to that of the Nubowa, of the Prophet and the Sahaba al-Kiram!.

Allaah's Messenger (salallaahu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said: Each of you is a guardian and is responsible for those whom he is in charge of. So the ruler is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects; a man is the guardian of his family and is responsible for those under his care; a woman is a guardian of her husband's home and is responsible for those under her care; a servant is the guardian of his master's wealth and is responsible for that which he is entrusted with; and a man is the guardian of his father's wealth and is responsible for what is under his care. So each one of you is a guardian and is responsible for what he is entrusted with.

You are guardians of the Khilafah!how can you tolerate the Mameluki rule which brings forth only oppression and tyranny?how can you allow that your Caliph" he points at himself " to be strapped in bondage?!I have left Al-Qahirah to come to Damascus, in yearning for the return of he Khilafah.I ask you know oh people of God!.

Thus Allah bestowed on man his special status as the represenatative of Allah on Earth, whose responsibility is to ensure that Allah's Creation continues , in form of the Khilafah my brothers. To do this man must perfect himself in accord with the Will of Allah, perfect all of human society according to the Will of Allah, and to perfect the physical world. Allah Says:

"And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a vicegerent [representative] on the earth, they said: Wilt thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not."

You see the Dar of Al-Islam in distress, rise up and force the will of Allah upon the Kuffar.Let the Azan rise upon all the domains of Man on this plane.Oh Maáshar al-Muslimeen, do you recognize me as the Caliph of Islam, my authority presides over your lands and Dars, and as such, I am the Master of Al-Islam?".

The old Sheik, weak from the heat of the unforgiving sun, stood up , looking at Umar, the Abbasid "I , Abu Tamam of Dimashq, recognize you as the Caliph of Al-Islam".The Sheik's testimoney sent a rippling effect throughout the Mosque, one by one the faithful gave their covenant.Thus, Dimasq asserted the Abbasid overlord, after five centuries of obliviance.

Thus, the Caliph gave the ending nector of the Baya, the Covenant of Damascus "I have been given the authority over you, and I am not the best of you. If I do well, help me; and if I do wrong, set me right.

Sincere regard for truth is loyalty and disregard for truth is treachery. The weak amongst you shall be strong with me until I have secured his rights, if God will; and the strong amongst you shall be weak with me until I have wrested from him the rights of others, if God will. Obey me so long as I obey God and His Messenger. But if I disobey God and His Messenger, ye owe me no obedience. Arise for your prayer, God have mercy upon you."
 

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A Tale of the Western Khans:
The Jalayirid Dynasty and Sultanate




The Great Jalayirid Khans:

1336 - 1356 Tajuddin Hasan Buzurg (Ex-administrator of Anatolia)


1356 - 1374 Uwais I ('Uvais')


1574 (Two months) Hasan I


1374 - 1382 Jalaluddin Hussein I


1382 - 1410 Ghiyathuddin 'Ahmad' Hussein I


The original Jalayirids were a Mongol tribe that supported the great Il-Khan Hülegü's rise to power and eventually provided the successors to the Il-Khan dynasty as rulers of Iraq and Azerbaijan. A Jalayirid dynasty made its capital at Baghdad (1336-1432).

Hasan Buzurg, founder of the dynasty, had served as governor of Anatolia (Rum) under the Il-Khan Abu Sa'id (reigned 1317-35). Following the death of Abu Sa'id, Hasan Buzurg competed for real control of the empire with his rival, the Chupanid amir Hasan Kücük ("the Small," so designated to distinguish him from Hasan Buzurg, "the Great"); they set up rival khanates. Soon afterward the empire broke down into local dynasties in Anatolia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia.


Baghdad, Capital of the Khanate
and Sultanate

Hasan Buzurg had, meanwhile, established his line in Baghdad, from which he conducted his agitation against the Chupanid Princes, old enemies of the Jalayirid tribe and rivals for power in the lands. Hasan Buzurg's son, The most prominent of the Jalayirids, Sheikh Uways (1356-74) finally wrested control of Azerbaijan from the Süldüz Chupanids in 1360, creating a polity based on Arabian Iraq and Azerbaijan. He enlarged Jalayirid domains by seizing Azerbaijan (1360) and placing the Mozaffarid principality of Fars under his suzerainty (1361-64). In addition to this and other military exploits, he fostered trade and commerce and won renown as patron of poetry, painting, and calligraphy. He also undertook a number of architectural projects in Baghdad.


Expansion of the Golden Horde

The dynasty, however, was beset by the westward migrations and invasions of various Turkic and Mongol tribes. The khans of the Golden Horde, successors of Batu, unsuccessfully attempted the conquest of Azerbaijan in 1356-59.


The Wars of the Two Princes:
Buzurg of the Jalayirids and Kucek Hasan of the Chupanids

After Hasan Buzurg, or “Ulus Beg” married the daughter of Amir Coban, Bagdad Katun. Coban later became the most influential person at the court of Abu Sa'id. However, the Ilkhan soon became enamored with Bagdad Katun, and sought to have her divorce Hasan Buzurg.


Hasan Buzurg ~ 'Ulus Beg'
Founder of Jalayirid Power

Coban sent the two of them to Qarabagh in an attempt to rid Bagdad Katun from Abu Sa'id's mind, but the effort failed, and Bagdad Katun was forced to marry the Ilkhan. After the murder of Coban in 1327, Bagdad Katun and the Grand Vizier Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad competed for influence over Abu Sa'id.


Grand Vizier Ghiyah al-Din,
Schemer and Plotter

The Vizier Ghiyah al-Din spread a rumor that Bagdad Katun and Hasan Buzurg were plotting against the great Ilkhan; Hasan Buzurg was arrested in 1332. Hasan's mother, holding a great deal of influence at the time used her tears and womanly pleas and convinced the Ilkhan to spare his life, and he was imprisoned in the castle of Kamakh. In 1333, however, Hasan was cleared and was sent to become governor of Rüm. During Abu Sa'id's lifetime, Hasan Buzurg was also called upon by the plotting Grand Vizier Ghiyas al-Din to help stop rampant tax abuses in eastern Persia, which were rampant at the time.


Abu Sa'id
of the Ilkhanids

Following the death of Abu Sa'id of the Ilkhanids, several powerful tribes and clans of different factions competed for the Ilkhanid throne. In 1336 Hasan Buzurg, always adept to devise victory in political situations, saw his chance and raised a child, Muhammad Khan, to claim the Khan's position. On July 24 Hasan Buzurg and Muhammed met the forces of their rivals for the throne, Musa Khan and the powerful 'Ali Padshah in the Ala-Tagh area in a most bloody battle; Musa was defeated and 'Ali Padshah killed. Sensing complete victory, Hasan Buzurg hastily pursued Musa on his way to Baghdad and slaughtered many of the fleeing foe's soldiers, causing so many losses for his enemy. He then proceeded to Tabriz, where he married the granddaughter of Coban and the wife of Abu Sa'id, Delsad Katun, who was pregnant with Abu Sa'id's daughter. Meanwhile, the amirs in Khurasan adopted their own candidate for Ilkhan, Togha Temur. Togha set off in 1337 to subdue western Persia. Azarbaijan and 'Iraq-i 'Ajam were taken. In March he arrived before Sultaniyeh, the former capital of the Ilkhans, and Hasan Buzurg withdrew to Arran. Musa's forces, initially battling Togha's, now joined the invader. Togha and Musa met Hasan Buzurg at Soghurlug in the Maragheh area on June 15; Hasan defeated them, took Musa prisoner shortly after, and executed him. Togha gave up the campaign and withdrew to eastern Persia.

Shortly afterwards, however, several descendants of Coban united under his grandson Hasan Kucek, who used a slave to impersonate his father in order to legitimatize his cause. The Chobanids battled with Hasan Buzurg on July 16, 1338 at Naushahr in the Alataq area. Hasan Buzurg was defeated; his puppet khan, Muhammed, was killed. Shortly afterwards, the Chobanids conquered Azarbaijan. A peace was declared, but Hasan Buzurg sought to be rid of the Chobanid threat. He offered the Ilkhanid throne to Togha Temur, who invaded early in 1339. Hasan Kucek, however, offered the hand of Sati Beg in marriage, and when Togha responded warmly to the proposal, he forwarded the letters to Hasan Buzurg. The latter, enraged, halted his expedition to support Togha, who was forced to withdraw during the summer of that year.
Following his abandonment of Togha Temur, Hasan Buzurg recognized Jahan Temur, a grandson of Geikhatu, as Ilkhan. The conflict with the Chobanids again boiled over, and Hasan Buzurg and Jahan Temur met Hasan Kucek and his new puppet Suleiman Khan in battle on the Jaghatu. There Hasan Buzurg was defeated on June 26, 1340. He fled to Baghdad; following which he declared Jahan Temur deposed. With the Chobanids continuing to press him, Hasan Buzurg again recognized Togha Temur’s suzerainty, and struck coins in his name. After he stopped recognizing Togha in 1344, he still did not proclaim himself independent, and ruled with the title of ulus beg, as a mere governor, simply leaving the Ilkhan throne unfilled. Nevertheless, this marks the beginning of effectively independent Jalayirid rule.

For the rest of his reign Hasan Buzurg attempted to deal with the Chobanids. He managed to form an alliance with Hasan Kucek’s uncle Surgan, as well as the governor of Diyarbakr and the Mamelukes, but Surgan was soon convinced to abandon the alliance, and the Mamelukes withdrew shortly after. He also offered assistance to another of Hasan Kucek’s uncles, Yagi Basti, as well as to Mas’ud Shah of the Injuids, in their attempt to expel Hasan Kucek’s cousin Pir Hosayn from Shiraz. The murder of Hasan Kucek in 1343 did not provide much relief, for his brother Malek Asraf sent an army to conquer Baghdad in 1347. Jalayirid forces, however, inflicted heavy losses on the force, which was forced to retreat by the summer. While Malek Asraf and the Chobanids would survive until 1357, their threat to the Jalayirids was diminished. Hasan Buzurg continued to play an influential part in Persian politics; he assisted the Injuid Abu Ishaq against the Muzaffarids, helping him restore his rule in Isfahan in 1353. The latter, however, destroyed the Injuids in 1357.
Hasan Buzurg died in 1356. He was succeeded by his son, Shaikh Uvais. In addition to Uvais, he was the father of Amir Zahid.


Hasan Kucek ~ Chopanid Prince
and Great Rival to Hasan Buzurg

Hasan Kucek - (c. 1319-December 15, 1343) was a Chobanid prince during the 14th century. He is credited with setting up a nearly independent Chobanid state in northern Persia during the struggles taking place in the aftermath of the Ilkhanate. He was a son of Timurtas.

Hasan's father had been executed by the Mamelukes in 1328. His rise to power began three years after the death of the last powerful Ilkhan, Abu Sa'id. The Jalayirids under Hasan Buzurg had recently mastered western Persia, putting a puppet Muhammed Khan on the Ilkhan throne in 1336. Hasan attempted to unify the fragmented Chobanid family. Claiming his father was alive, he used a slave named Qara Jari (a possible offspring of Hasan's grandfather Coban) to impersonate him. Timurtas' widow was even married to him. Mameluk Sultan Al-Nasr Muhammad, who had ordered Timurtas' execution, attempted to expose the fraud, but without much success. The Chobanids rallied to him; several of them (such as Pir Hosayn) defected from Hasan Buzurg's service. Together, they defeated Hasan Buzurg in Alataq on July 16, 1338. Muhammed Khan was executed, and the region around Tabriz was occupied.

At this point, Qara Jari attempted to get rid of Hasan Kucek and take power for himself, but fled when the effort failed. Following this, Hasan raised Sati Beg, sister of Abu Sa'id and widow of Coban, to the Ilkhanid throne in the summer of 1338. When Togha Temur, another claimant to the throne, invaded from Khurasan in the winter of 1339 at the behest of Hasan Buzurg, the Chobanid offered Sati's hand to him in marriage. Using this to receive letters of assurance from Togha Temur, Hasan Kucek forwarded these to the Jalayirids. Hasan Buzurg, feeling betrayed, stopped his advance in support of Togha, and the latter was forced to retreat in July 1339.

In the meantime, Hasan Kucek found a new suitable puppet in the form of Suleiman Khan, whom he forced Sati Beg to marry in May of 1339. Hasan decided to march against the Jalayirids again. Supported by Pir Hosayn, as well as his uncle Surgan, he defeated the Jalayirids on June 26, 1340, in the Zarrinarüd valley near Maraga. Surgan was made governor of Iraq.

During Hasan Kucek’s reign, not all of the Chobanid Princes remained loyal, as they had been taken under Jalayirid power. One such Prince, Surgan, unhappy with the treatment of Sati Beg (who was his mother), defected to Hasan Buzurg. An alliance was formed between the two, soon joined by the ruler of Diyarbakr, as well as Sultan Al-Nasr. Hasan Kucek, however, managed to lure him out of the alliance, and the Mameluks soon abandoned their support. Still, Surgan began to plot with Togha Temur, who sent his brother Amir Shaikh 'Ali Kavon to invade Iraq. These forces were defeated by Hasan Kucek's brother Malek Asraf in the latter half of 1341, and Surgan was soon imprisoned.

Around the same time, several of the Chobanids became embroiled in a conflict concerning Fars. Malek Asraf, along with his cousin Pir Hosayn and his uncle Yagi Basti, were involved in a conflict that also included the Injuids, the owners of the area, and the Jalayirids. The conflict split the Chobanids, and Pir Hosayn was arrested and executed in Tabriz in 1342. Yagi Basti and Malek Asraf met up in Baghdad; realizing the danger of the two individuals, Hasan Kucek caused Malek Asraf to flee to Georgia, and then convinced Hasan Buzurg to abandon his support for him. Still, the two were back in Fars in the following year. Meanwhile, Hasan Kucek was murdered by his wife near the end of 1343, ostensibly because she feared that her marital infidelity would be discovered. As Hasan Kucek left no successor, Malek Asraf and Yagi Basti, along with Surgan, split the Chobanid lands, though Malek would eventually become sole ruler.


Peace Restored to the Lands:
Uwais the East Taker

Shortly after Uvais succeeded his father, the old enemy of the Jalayirids, the Chobanids, were overrun by the forces of the Blue Horde under Jani Beg in 1357. Malek Asraf was executed, and Azerbaijan was conquered. Following Jani Beg’s withdrawal from Azerbaijan, as well as his son Berdi Beg’s similar abandonment of the region in 1358, the area became a prime target for its neighbors.


Uwais I ~ Conqueror

Shaikh Uvais, who at first had recognized the sovereignty of the Blue Horde, decided to take the former Chobanid lands for himself, even as a former amir of Malek Asraf’s named Akhichuq attempted to keep the region in Mongol hands. Despite a campaign that ended prematurely, as well as the brief conquest of Azerbaijan by the Muzaffarids, Uvais conquered the area in 1360. In addition to Baghdad, he could now boast Tabriz as a large city under his control.

During his reign, Shaikh Uvais sought to increase his holdings in Persia. He became involved in the power struggles of the Muzaffarids, supporting Shah Mahmud in his efforts against his brother Shah Shuja. Shah Mahmud married one of Uvais’ daughters, and received support around 1363 in his conquest of Shiraz. In 1364 Uvais campaigned against the Shirvan Shah Kai-Ka’us, but a revolt begun by the governor of Baghdad, Khwaja Mirjan, forced him to return to reassert his authority. In 1366 Uvais marched against the Black Sheep Turkmen, defeating their leader, Bairam Khwaja, at the battle of Mush. Later, he defeated the Shirvan Shah, who had attacked Tabriz twice in the meantime. In an effort to extend further east, he fought against Amir Vali, who ruled in Astarbad, and defeated him in Ray. When his brother Amir Zahid died in Ujan, however, he was forced to turn back. The governorship of Ray was trusted in the hands of a Qutlugh Shah, who was followed two years later by ‘Adil Aqa.


Uwais I Campaigns in Persia

Due to his campaigns, Uvais spent much time in Persia, and he died in Tabriz in 1374; Baghdad, however, remained his capital. During his lifetime, the Jalayirid state reached its peak in power. In addition to his military adventures, which were considerable, he was known for his attempts to revive commercial enterprise, which had suffered heavily in the past years, in the region, as well as his patronage to the arts. His chronicler, Abu Bakr al-Qutbi al Ahri, wrote of Uvais’ deeds in the Tarikh-i Shaikh Uvais. Shaikh Uvais was succeeded by his son Hasan.


The Corrupt Amirs and the New Khan:
Hasan and Husain

After his father Uwais died, the dim-minded Hasan succeeded him, but he had never been a popular individual among the general people. Shortly after he began his reign, he began to demand much of his nobility and vassals, and complete power to his hand. This was unacceptable to the clans and Amirs whom had always excercised their own rights within their territories, and quickly a civil war was started against him, that resulting in Hasan being captured, and was executed by his Amirs, who then put his brother Husain on the throne.


Hasan the Dim,
who lost his throne

Following the execution of his brother Hasan, the Amirs placed Jalaludin Husain on the throne. Almost immediately he had to deal with an invasion by his brother-in-law Shah Mahmud of the Muzaffarids. The rich Shah Mahmud, who was the son-in-law of Shaikh Uvais, advanced a claim on Tabriz and took the city. Illness, however, forced him to abandon the region. This was followed by an invasion by the leader of the Muzaffarids, Shah Shuja, but despite taking the city, he was also forced to retreat due to a rebellion in Qazvin. It was only in the summer of 1376 that Husain took up residence in Tabriz. In the following spring, he undertook a successful campaign against the Black Sheep Turkmen under Bairam Khwaja, who had been raiding from the west.


Jalaludin Husain ~ the Greedy
Executed by his Brother

Husain's reign was marred by conflict with his surviving brothers; namely, Shaikh 'Ali, Ahmad, and Bayazid. Husain also lost his popularity among many Amirs who disliked his support of the powerful 'Adil Aqa, the governor of Ray. Husain was faced with a series of uprisings, hostility among his brothers, and troubles with his external enemies. When 'Adil Aqa turned on him, Husain lost his last powerful supporter.


Ahmad Husain ~ Current Khan
and Sultan

Ahmad advanced from Arbadil and occupied Tabriz near the end of April 1382; he ordered Husain's execution. Ahmad would then himself take the throne, but conflict between him and 'Adil Aqa and Bayazid meant that the state fell into a period of disunity.

Khan Ahmad immediately made his boundaries clear, as his vassal and chiefs are called to Baghdad to swear loyalty to him in 1384, and so began a period of internal organization, to ensure that the Jalayirid Khanatate and Sultanate was well protected, and made allies of it's more useful neighbouring states, as well as gain revenge on those whom had stolen it's northern and eastern lands...


 

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Interception of the 2nd Company of the Papal Escort by the Fleet of Aragon


West of Sardinia due north-west


The seas had had taken on a blood red tinge as the sunset revealed the navy of Aragon surrounding and escorting the Castelleon caravel as it left Sardinia. They allowed no ship to approach or depart from their ring of security, save those that travelled between the vessels couriering various officers invited to dine upon each other's tables.

Commander Rodreguiz had returned from port with a pale look and whispered to Captain Murcia who commanded the alleged Papal Escort.


"Captain, please look at this. Also, be aware that the navy of King Pedro is heaving anchor and coming to intercept our position."

The Commander handed over the copy of Pope Clement's Encyclical Pronunciation on Philip, of the House of Alençon.

The Captain read it, coughed and then nodded.


"It seems that the Gregory in our hold has been excommunicated by Pope Clement.

No matter, we shall procede as planned, so much the more proper indeed."


The ship sailed on under heavy escort, and the 1rst mate was dispatched to the Admiral of the Aragonese fleet's ship.

The Captain of the papal escort delivered a copy of the decree to one of Gregory's secretaries, and noted his condolances on their predicament.
 

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Upon the walls of Samogitia

von Vrymersheim felt a Lith spear slam into his armor on the wall of Samogitia. With wince he spun about and slammed his sword down on the man's skull, splitting it asunder. Someone else was pounding on his back with a club, and another fool had wrapped his arms around the Livonian's legs and was trying to pull him down. von Vrymersheim was no fool; he knew if he fell in this melee the Lith peasants would be on him in seconds, driving knives into the joints of his armor.

With a strength that he sometimes forgot he had, he tore one leg from the Lith's grasp and brought his iron boot down on his face. He felt as a distant jar the nose and forehead shatter. The Master of the Livonian Order wheeled about clumsily, blessing and cursing his heavy armor in the same breath, and ran the Lith with the club through the stomach. His sword stuck there for a moment, and he found himself gasping for breath as he planted his gore-encrusted foot upon the Lith's chest and ripped his sword out.

Momentarily free of attackers, von Vrymersheim took a moment to review the situation. They were on the wall, but it was tight. His Livonians were attacking with the ferocity of men who knew their next hot meal was behind the walls, but the Liths were fighting for their lives.

It will be a close run thing, either way, he thought. He looked back to the camp of the Teutons. They stood there, a metal wall, watching their Livonian dogs attack Samogitia alone. The Livonian roared at them from across the field. "Come on, you cowards! Charge, and we take the city! Charge, you cursed cowards!" His bellows were consumed by the noise of the field.

He turned, and saw the left of the Livonian line collapse under a sudden assault from the defenders. "For the love of God, more men to the left," he shouted, but he knew it was already over. In the confusion of the wall, no one was going to listen to him. He almost wept as two Livonian banners went down in the mud, and his knights began to stream off the wall. Below, the mingled shattered bodies of Livonians and Liths told of the ferocity of the battle.

But the Liths had won the day.

The Master stayed upon the wall a moment longer, enough time to plant the Livonian flag upon a high point, where a breeze from the fires burning in Samogitia whipped it out for all to see.

von Vrymersheim climbed down the wall, among his retreating men. He raged at them, cursed them, slapped some with the flat of his sword and ran others through, but he couldn't stop their collapse. He heard a ragged cheer go up from the walls and turned in time to see them chop down the Livonian banner and toss it into the flames below.

The assault on Samogitia had failed.

Leaving his retinue to get his men in order, von Vrymersheim stalked over to where von Rothstein, impassive as stone. "We could have taken them, Grandmaster, if you had ordered your knights into battle. We had the wall. Why, why in the name of God did you hesitate?"
 

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Ill Tidings from Naples


Toqtamish Khan

The Khan rarely liked to be distubed, especially recently as he enjoyed spending much of his time with his new Italian wife. Yet, the Vizer insisted that the news was to great not to tell him immediately.

Most awesome lord *kowtows* a messenger from Neapolita has arrived in the camp and has informed Signore Orsini grave news indeed. Both Charles and his son are dead. The crown of that far country is disputed between three of the royal house; one Joanna, Elizabeth of Slovene, she being the Queen Dowanger, and John, brother of the late king, I think. This John holds the most power in the kingdom for now and he appears to have no intent on breaking the alliance with you, Khan of Khans.

Good, that is all I needed to know. Now leave us, Vizer. Handle the matter as you might see fit. Promise this John monetary support even. We cannot have weak Latin women as the chiefs of our allied kingdoms. Now go... I have a wife to attend to. *laughs*
 

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The Young Khan's Demand
of Loyalty



The Sultan Ahmad at his Palace near Baghdad
with his brother Prince Shaikh 'Ali


"If only duty might forbid me the pleasures of gambling and drinking... I would rule all of the Khanates combined by now Ali!" The Sultan and Khan, Ahmad laughed haughtily as he spoke the words. His brother returned a mischevious grin, for the two had just returned from a bout of thick wine drinking, making loveless passion to the Sultan's whores, and of course hashish smoking and gambling. Both the Sultan and the Prince were in light spirits after such events, and as they slowely rode on horseback to a more private location other than the old Abbassid Palace that the Jalayir Court was usually so tediously held at.
And yet within the next few days some of the most important events of his early reign would occur, as nobles from Kurdistan to Arabia, from Syria to Persia travelled to Baghdad - Amirs, vassals, tribes and Khans, all alike under the Jalayir rule were being summoned to declare their loyalty to the Sultan and Khan, Ahmad.

And so as the two travelled the warm and sunny roads to Baghdad, they discussed things they relished in - hunting, family, women... yet politics could not find it's way out of Sultan Ahmad's mind.


Sultan Ahmad Khan

"'Ali.... what will I do if tomorrow, when I hold this planned Court in the old Abbasid palace, and none of them show up?"

His eyes showed a look of utter seriousness. Shaikh 'Ali laughed aloud, to calm his brother's fears and paranoias..

"Ahah! Come now Ahmad, you and I both know they respect us, as they respected our father. The Amirs are picky, but they favour you and your wise policies. I am sure, my brother, that together we will manage to contain the Turkmen and Mongol Amirs easily.."

The Sultan and Khan Ahmad smiled, and sighed for a moment. Perhaps he was becoming paranoid... Still, the local peoples certainly did not love the Mongol rule, which had cost Baghdad dearly in the past. Yet it was well known the Jalayirid Dynasty had done much to repair and advance the city once again, still, not all people were so civilized to be greatful for such things.

He then turned again, "And what of the Arabs?"

Shaikh 'Ali replied,


Prince Shaikh 'Ali

"The Arabs are a disunited flock of sheep, awaiting to be lead into our pens, and under our rule..."

Ahmad sighed, "I have already heard rumours that the Amir of Basrah, Nasir, is unhappy with the rule placed upon his lands..."

Shaikh 'Ali spoke then, slapping his hand hard upon the Sultan's shoulders as he rode beside him, "Yet we shall be patient, my brother... what I think you must worry about is the northern vassals, and the Chupans... this Arab will cause you little animosity.
Wait and see if he shows tomorrow, with all the other loyal Amirs and vassals."


... and what if he does not? Was all the still young Sultan and Khan thought, but said nothing.

'Ali finished the conversation, as the bright rooftops of Baghdad could be seen in the distance, the sun now high in the sky,

"My brother, have you not already learned? The Arabs bow to Baghdad, and that we rule. Let us go, you have many responsibilities to carry out, and I cannot be seen heckling you like this in public! Sit straight!"

Ahmad could not help but smirk at his brother's jesting, but could not get that awful feeling out of his stomach - was it the same feeling his older brother Hasan had, before the Amirs declared him unfit and cut off his head?

He swallowed hard.

 

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The Young Khan's Demand
of Loyalty II



The Khan's court and nobility gathers at Baghdad...


Hashish smoke withered and toppled itself over in the air, dancing above the heads of men who were just as light, and others, with drink, which was being offered around the room - much to the offense of many of the more faithful Muslim and Arab Amirs who were present or gathering.

Baghdad itself was a city of the great gathering of the nobility from across all the Jalayirid domains, from the Persian Gulf to the Syrian deserts and Kurdish borders, Arabia to Persia. Turkmen vassals alongside Arabian and Persian nobles, their standards raised and riding elegant and beautiful horses and camels, streamed into the city periodically, and much to the delight of the Khan and Sultan Ahmad, who knew it meant that these men continued to pledge their loyalty to him.

Yet there was another man watching from another room within the old Abbassid Palace, a man who loomed upon the groups of nobility passing through the streets with narrow eyes.
He was Prince Bayazid, oldest of the Khan's heirs.


Prince Bayazid

"All those Amirs only come to pay homage because they fear the arrows of the Shaikh 'Ali's horsemen! All of my brothers are fools, it is obvious why one by one they are executed after they come to rule...

If I ruled I might take control of the nobles, and wretch away their power. I would not hide behind my rich clad cities.. Ahmad is a fool."


Muttering the last words, he turned from the window impatiently. He did not care for the way his brother ruled, nor the way the Khanate was being divided. If only he might find some way to convince the Amirs not to trust Ahmad...

He dwelled on these thoughts as a great call was made over the city, and the Khan and Sultan's Court was called into session. He would find his way to that room, filled with hash smoke and cowards, and see what he might find to his use...


Vassals of the Khan pay homage
in the Court of the Palace of Baghdad ~ 786 A.H.

And so, in the year 22 Safar 786 AH, or the 14th of March, 1384 AD by the Christian calendar, the second grand court of the rule of Khan Ahmad was held, since his ascention to rule.

Many nobles were present within the room, from across the Jalayirid lands. Muttering and whispering, amongst coughing and laughing could be heard as these nobles met and spoke, and barked orders to servants. All was silenced as the Vizier of the Khan and Sultan, Abu Bakr al-Qutbi al Ahri stepped forth, and looked over the room. Many had shown... yes, but not all.

He cleared his throat and spoke in Mongolian, an attendant speaking in Arabic after every sentence to clear things up for some of the more locally bred nobles...


Abu Bakr al-Qutbi al Ahri
Vizier to the Khan

"I present his splendid and mighty greatness, the Great Khan of Jalayirids and the Sultan of Baghdad, Ahmad Ghiyath al-Din Khan, the great Ulus Beg!"

The Khan's Syrian musicians started to play their strange and artfully detailed instruments as Ahmad Khan entered the room, walking slowely and ignoring the eyes upon him as he stood the first step, and then turned, sitting upon his throne. His sister, a dazzling woman with strange eyes and dressed in all purple, seemed to make eye contact with him for a moment, and she smirked at him... she had warned and insisted to her brother the Khan that the key to ruling these men was their beliefs.

And so, thinking of this for only a moment, he spoke,

"Amirs and Governors, nobles and brothers, what a joy it brings to my lips to see your arrival here in our grand capital of Baghdad!”

Immediately different vassals began to ask questions, and shout their anger on subjects.


Nasir al-Bihnami, Amir of Basrah

“Perhaps it is too hasty for your magnificent Sultan to send out his armies, when some of our most promising cities begin to fall into decay and disrepair…?”

Subjects, tedious as this dominated the early afternoon. The Amirs and nobles discussed policies with the north, internal disputes of borders, money currencies, and other things that mostly bored Ahmad, but he knew it was all necessary to maintain his position as Khan and Sultan.
As the evening wore on and food was served, the Khan spoke on;

”..It is well known to you all that after the righteous execution of my brother, Jalaludin Husain -"

Hear! Hear! There were many voices that uttered in approval.
Ahmad paused, feigning a smile for the bloody deed he had ordered under the pressure and support of the Amirs, and his other brother Shaikh 'Ali, whom always seemed to know best...
Still, he had felt a tinge of guilt for. But such were politics of the hordes...


Ahmad Khan of the Jalayirids
Great West Khan and Sultan of Baghdad

Continuing after silence arose in the drowsy but grand and comfortable court chamber, the Khan continued, "- After his execution, a period of disunity erupted among us, over disputes of the support to my dim brother's disasterous reign! And yet when these vassals, like all men to accept their place under Allah, are called forth to pay homage or show their loyalties, where are they to be found? I speak of the Governor of Ray, Amir 'Adil Aqa! Where is he today, do any of you see him present?
Of course not.”


More shouting. Some sounded hostile, others seemed to offer support. There were so many hollering, only the presence of the Vizier again quieted the noble masses.

Speaking on, the Khan said, “The Governor of Ray, Amir ‘Adil Aqa is a man rooted in treachery, and we have all seen it. He works for himself, raising armies of his own, in the north, the combat us for the supremacy he gained under my brother."

There was some muttering in agreement, and while sitting on the sideline of all this Prince Bayazid frowned, and flamed on the inside… he was even more disgusted that these men, supposed of education or intelligence, were swayed so easily and foolishly. When his time came, he would dominate the court and lands…

Still, Ahmad spoke.

“I say as your homage, we ride and execute this traitor, who failed to appear today to reindicate his position of vassal under our lands!”

Kill the wretch!

Shackle him!

Death to the Amir of Ray!


A cheer seemed to form from the shouting within the court.
Even his brother Prince Shaikh ‘Ali had told him, an enemy had to be made an example of.
 

Hawkeye1489

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UNTO HIS ROYAL MAJESTY, JOHN I OF GRAVINA, KING OF NAPLES; HER ROYAL HIGHNESS, ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY, QUEEN-REGENT OF HUNGARY; THEIR GRACES, THE NOBLE ELECTORS OF POLAND; ALL OF CHRISTENDOM,

DEAR CHILDREN IN CHRIST,

After further review and consideration on the matter of Succession to the Crown of Poland, the Papacy has reconsidered its candidate.

We, of course, reserve the right for the Nobles of Poland to elect whomever the so choose, in their best judgement, and Christian Wisdom.

As the claims for the Crown of Poland are, indeed stronger in the Hungarian Branch of the House of Angevin, and error in position of the previous Declaration of Support, which biased our decision in that regard, we, the Papacy, in the Name of His Holiness, Gregory XII, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth and Sovereign of the States of the Church, hereby and do so swear, that the Candidate of Choice shall be Jadwiga Angevin, second daughter of His Royal Majesty, of Blessed Memory, King Louis of Hungary and Poland, Younger Sister to Her Royal Majesty, Maria Angevin, Queen of Hungary.

Our reason for correction is twofold. The first is that of Elizabeth of Slavonia. The woman claiming to be the Duchess of Translyvania and Princess of Spoleto has, according to numerous sources, passed from this life unto the next, in the Year of Our Saving Lord, Thirteen Hundred and Eighty. If the woman claiming to be Elizabeth can provinde official Papers of her birth, and atleast two witnesses which state she was born and raised in the court of the Duke of Transylvania, then we may consider he still alive. Otherwise, this imposter shall be removed from consideration as the Queen of Poland.

Furthermore, her sons, which were born into a state of sin, are still illegitamate, and therefore, unable to succeed.

If Jadwiga is to be elected Queen of Poland, she must be betrothed before she may assume the throne.

The Previous Declaration of Support, issued not long beforehand, is declared null and void. All clauses dealing with the succession of Elizabeth or her issues to the Throne of Poland are declared to have never existed.

SO IT HAS BEEN DECLARED

IN THE NAME OF HIS HOLINESS, GREGORY XII, SUPREME PONTIFF OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH,

HIS EMINENCE, PIETRO CARDINAL TOMACELLI, ARCHBISHOP OF OSTIA, DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF CARDINALS AND SPIRITUAL REGENT IN THE ABSENCE OF HIS HOLINESS.
 

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Proclamation of the Caliphate

Upon the arrival of the victorious armies of the Caliph into Egypt, the princes of the Mameluks surrendered on the condition of being allowed to retain their possessions and families and not come under persecution.The Caliph, being a man of foresight, agreed and immediatly he was ganted access to Al-Qahirah.The Al-Azhar, being the foremost authority in the Muslim world has legitimized his rule and declared his proclamation of the Khilafah throughout the Islamic Alam(World)



All praise is due to Allah, the one and only Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. He is the Absolute Authority, Whose law is timeless, Whose verdicts are final, and Whose Wisdom is supreme. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the last Prophet, the Chief (sayyid) of the believers, our leader (mawla), our commander (amir), the bearer of the light of Islam, Muhammed, and may be the peace be upon his noble family, his righteous successors, his devout companions, and all the believers.

When the verses of revelation had concluded, and when the Message of Islam was complete, it had long since become clear to the Muslims that Islam was their independence and methodology for living. Through it, they maintained freedoms and also responsibilities that no other nation before or after ever enjoined. Because of this, the (khilafah) became an essential part of Islam.

It is then necessary that the Islamic state be revisited by all Muslims and non-Muslims alike so that an accurate picture can be painted of what is beneficial not only to Muslims but to the salvation of humanity as a whole. It is said by Allah, highly glorified and exalted:

But no, by the Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction. (4:65)

The ultimate test for the Muslims after accepting belief in Allah and the prophethood of Muhammed, through persecution and tyranny, was to struggle with their own selves (nafs) to accept the commands of their leader, Muhammed, unconditionally. In this verse (ayat), Allah gives full authority to the Noble Prophet (saaws) so that there would be no doubt in the mind of the believers that his verdicts were final. Every Muslim must struggle with himself to accept this, for Islam cannot be established within ourselves until we can totally submit our affairs over to Allah, and we cannot establish Islam as a state if we have not established it within our own selves.

"Because Allah will never change the grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in themselves: and verily Allah is He Who hears and knows (all things)." (8:53)

So, until they change what is in themselves (yughayyiru ma bi-anfusihim), Allah will not change the grace (ni'mah) that he has bestowed upon us. When we understand this reality, we can put our situation into perspective. Allah bestows His grace on whom He wills, and we will not taste but a small portion of it until we submit ourselves completely to Him and obey what has been revealed to His Messenger.

Only Allah is your Wali (guardian, protecting friend) and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow. (5:55)

To truly establish Al-Islam on earth, Muslims must fully accept the wilayah (sovereignty) of Allah, His Messenger, and those who have been given authority by Allah. Anything short of this will only result in failure. If we say that Allah is our Lord and that Muhammed is our Prophet, then we cannot accept any system or ideology as legitimate to the exclusion of the Islamic system. How can we reconcile this contradiction in our minds? I forth say the words of Allah may he be praised "Let there arise out of you an Ummah inviting to all that is good; enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, they are the ones who are successful." (3:104)

I ,Caliph Al-Wathiq son of Bani Abbas, I invite all those who call Allah the lord and master to come forth and endorse their loyalty to the Khilafah, for the Mamelukes lie vanquished.He the lord has granted me victory with the death of Sultan Barquq.Give me your baya so Allahs Ummah can unite under one flag.

Signed, Caliph Al-Wathiq billah al-Abbasi
 

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The Dark Barakah of the Sorceress I



The Khan invests time in his sister's mysticism......


After Ahmad Khan had retired from the Court for a time after several days of discussing issues and loyalties with his vassals and Khans, he walked the old Abbassid Palace halls as the sun slowely dimmed on the horizon. Many things overcame his mind as he worried for his Khanate, and his own power.

Was his future ruling the Khanate certain? Would the Amirs truly ride with him to execute the Governor of Ray? What did this "Caliph's" rising mean? And what of the rumoured sons of Timur Lengh he had so far tried to ignore at his court, until he had learned more... what was to be their fate?

While he was truly a Muslim, like all Mongols her certainly was not devout, nor were many within his family, though they swore by the Koran officially... he knew his sister delved into more mysterious arts. Ahmad Khan immediately decided to pay her a visit and seek out his sister the Princess Füsun al-Shria's advices, for he had not seen her for many weeks. Walking alone through the palace, he approached the upper wings of the palace, and found the Princess within her private chambers, below her garden upon the roof of part of the palace. Reading a book written in some language the Khan certainly did not recognize featuring strange, blocky letters, she slammed it shut upon hearing his entrance into her chambers;


Princess Princess Füsun 'al-Shria',
Rumored Siher Practitioner and Grand Pir

"Salam, how good it is to see one's kin and clan during these lonely times. Welcome home again, brother." She stood, a beautiful woman in a dress speckled with flower designs and jewels... a gown the Khan knew the Princess kept a thin, long and jewelled dagger tightly under. The two embraced each other in a hug, before Khan Ahmad began to speak,

"My sister, I am glad to see you too. I hear you still refuse the proposals of marriage you recieve, yet it brings laughter and joy to my spirit." He stepped side to side, a bit uneasily.

"What troubles your mind then, I know most well something is, my Khan." his sister's eyes looked him over sharply. She always seemed to know unrevealed things...
And she had enjoyed such a strange and unique ability since she was a child, hence giving her the name Fusun, or, sorceress, a Turkish word.

"... Or is it that you seek my advices?" She winked.

Exactly the words I thought!
Ahmad's eyebrow raised, but he only smiled thinly to his sister and nodded. He hardly knew her well, as he had been raised much apart from her being a woman, although he had approached her once before for her aid in advising him. She had warned him of their older brother Hasan's will to murder Ahmad, even before Hasan himself had thought to do so...
It had also scared Ahmad so much he ignored how he had been warned, and ignored his sister's practices altogether.


Sultan Ahmad Ghiyath al-Din

Returning to the moment, Ahmad spoke, "While I doubt the... harmony of your practices, sister, I know you speak true to your word always. I am placing my trust in you again."

Fusun smiled mischeviously, and took Ahmad's hand. She lead him across he beautifully decorated and pillowed room, to a thickly-locked wooden door on the other side of her chamber and to what Ahmad believed lead to her private baths. When she opened the door, he realized he was wrong. It was a room, full of jars and tables, books and strange items and stones, organized in different orders. Princess Fusun immediately began to scour the room, walking to a table and opening a dusty book, as Ahmad slowely and curiously walked the room, looking at strange things. A shelf with books revealed, Hymns of the Chaldaea, Art of the Magi, First Volume and his brow raised when he saw Incantations of Ahraman and other such strange works of literature. The rest were in strange Christian languages, and others in languages of the south and east.
Fusun flipped through a book, slamming it down hard on a table as the opened one of her strange jars, full of a strange herb. It smelled strong, it's odour filling the room as the jar was unsealed.

Seeing her brother the Khan look at her oddly as she dumped out some of the jar's contents, the Princess simply said, "Blessed garlic from wildlands around the ancient Persian temple of Pir eh Naraki." She then gathered a handfull and began to crush it into dust in a mortar. She spoke as she crushed it up, "I am known among some of these practices as a Pir or Mashrid, though I once was an apprentice myself. I performed my first true keramat when I was twelve... although, it made me sick for days."

Ahmad nodded to her explanation, yet dumbfounded on the inside, and he continued to watch as she opened the seal of a jar she claimed was filled with the blood of a slaughtered wolf, and mixing the two together.


She then poured the contents of a third jar, what lookedl ike dust, into the odd mixture, and placed it over a small fire she lit under a small cooking cauldron.

"Crushed haoma seeds from the same flower."

She then tore a part of the book out, and handed it to Ahmad. Looking it over, he could see that it contained a written passage in Arabic...

~ Audhu bi wajhi'llahi' l-karim wa bi kalimati'llahi't-tammati. Allati la yujawazu hunna barra wa la fajir, min sharri ma yanzil min as-sama, wa sharri ma yaruju fiha, wa sham ma dhara' fi'l-ard, wa sharri ma yakhruju minha, wa min fitani'l-layli wa'-nahar, wa min tawariqi'l-layli wa'n-nahar illa tariqan yatruq bikhayr ya Rahman ~

Sultan Ahmad
Khan of the Jalayir

He read it to himself...

'I seek refuge with the Noble Face of Allah and with the complete words of Allah which neither the good person nor the corrupt can exceed, from the evil of what descends from the sky and the evil of what ascends in it, and from the evil of what is created in the earth and the evil of what comes out of it, and from the trials of the night and day, and from the visitations of the night and day, except for one that knocks with good, O Merciful!'

Ahmad then asked,
"What is this...?"

She frowned,

"I do not pretend for you to understand, but it is the recorded spell given to man by the Angel Jibril, to ward off the power of Djinns and Demons, in situations of extremnity..."

Extremnity?! Ahmad gulped. Truly, he had killed many a man with his own weapons and hands on the battlefield, and shed blood himself, and feared no man alone he had met so far... yet he was most nervous to interact with these... dark subjects.

He turned to her again as she stood, mixing her strange ingredients together inside the metal basin of the bowl sized cauldron, "And then what is that which you prepare in that cauldron?"

"My brother, come with me to the garden, and I shall explain all." Emptying the cauldron into a large wine vase, she took it in hand.

And so together, with his passage and her strange potion, the two of them walked to the garden outside her main chambers, and taking a cup, she poured the vile mixture into a it and handed it to Ahmad. She then poured one for herself.

Ahmad looked unsure as he looked the drink within his cup, he knew was partly blood.


"In order to learn things from the realm of the Djinni and the Underworld, we must be able to see it, as it exists among us, yet apart from us. Do you understand? We shall not be able to communicate our questions, nor learn our answers without these proper ingredients becoming us... it is an ancient formula, used by ancient Magi of Persia to contact the Gins. What I have given you on that passage, dear brother, is an incantation to protect us, should something go wrong, or when we are finished our contact with the Djinni...
You see the ancients knew how to speak with the Djinns and summon them, but they had no true protection from their havoc and wraith, and that is how their empires fell so quickly to the Arabs so long ago."


Ahmad thought this all a bit superstitious, but he said nothing as he watched his sister lift the cup to her lips and she drank it whole, only a drop leaking out of the side of her mouth. Ahmad cringed as he followed suit, the disgusting mix pouring down his throat... only once before, on campaign had he drank animal blood. This was even worse than that. Still he took it, and swallowed hard.
 
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The Dark Barakah of the Sorceress II



Ahmad Khan and his sister drink the ancient formula...


After his sister Princess Fusun had seen that he had drank her potion, she smiled. And so there the two of them stood, and she looked over the sky. The sun was setting, and it was getting dark... Fusun took Ahmad's hand with her strange book in her other hand, and lead Khan Ahmad back into her chambers, bringing a torch from outside, and lit a candle, of which she used to light many candles on an altar containing a small indoor poor, normally used to smell of sweet flower scents. She lit many candles, all floating upon the water.


Princess Fusun then sat in front of it, opposite Ahmad, with the book lying open in front of her. Ahmad had the written passage she had given him on his lap...
Read it aloud in case anything goes wrong, her voice seemed to remind him in his mind.

She spoke a few last words to him, "Now concentrate brother, make sure you say nothing of Allah during this time. Be sure not to speak until you are told the time for questioning has arrived... do you understand?"

Ahmad rarely took instructions from women, but he somehow trusted his sister. He nodded in agreement.

As he did so the Princess wasted no time in reading a part of the boook over, and then she began her incantation.
Princess Fusun began to speak in an old language Ahmad did not even recognize, though it sounded of a Persian sort.
The words flowed from her lips in a sort of singing chant, as she closed her eyes and repeated the forbidden words and verses...


Princess Fusun 'al Shira'
Rumoured Siher Practitioner


"Shraotah gaush-aish vahishta
Ah vaenatah souhha mananhja avaenay vizibahya
Nahraem nahraem zvahyai tanouyeh parah mazhai ouainhu
Akhmai neh sazdyaih baodantu paityieh."

As she repeated these ancient verses over and over, Ahmad began to feel strange. The room seemed to grow cold, and very cold at that... so much so he wanted to hold himself for warmth, for a moment. Fusun's words echoed throughout the silent room, she kept speaking, repeating the ancient Persian words of invocation...

Ahmad recieved a terrible shiver then, as something tweaked within his mind. He could feel something strange... terribly strange.

And as his sister kept speaking, his eyes grew in fear, of what he now knew... he could understand what she was saying. It was as if the true words were being repeated within his mind!

'Listen with your ears to the best things said
And observe with your mind radiant,
The two alternatives of your choosing, each man for himself
Being careful to announce us to Him before the great retribution'

It was only then that his sister's voice seemed to become a bit more hoarse...
She then suddenly spoke different words, Ahmad still miraculously understand.

"Ayah mainivah varatah yah Daeva akistah vehrehzyu...
Zshabra jasaid, Aka Manah!"

Of these two spirits, the one possessed of the Lie chose to execute...
Aka Manah, come to us!


Though the candlelight in the room was fully lit, it seemed to grow dark around them. Stranger and stranger, the atmosphere became, and while the potion he had drank prepared by Fusun made his stomach feel upset, Ahmad knew he was truly feeling much different now - to see something he had not seen before. He could not describe it... yet then and at that moment, he watched as Fusun's eyes lashed wide open, black as night. Ahmad gasped at the sight of her then, no colour to be seen anywhere in her eyes...

Her mouth opened, and once again that old Persian language spilled out, though miraculously - or perhaps through some sort of magical trickery, Ahmad could understand the words perfectly.

"By what perilous cause is Aka Manah called forth not by such name in so many of your lifetimes?"

It was a man's voice, a deep and intimidating man's voice, and it seemed to come from her mouth, behind him, and all around the room, as well as within his mind. Shaking his head, he winced at the sound of the horrible voice.
Ahmad was truly scared now... he paused. He leaned forward and looked at his sister's face, which was now stone pale, and empty, her blackened eyes staring forth not blinking once.

Ahmad studdered for a moment, and then said nothing. He was almost paralyzed with fear... and he was so cold too, he thought for a moment he almost saw his breath.


Clearing his throat and looking directly into her now wretchid black eyes, Ahmad spoke, "I... I, Sultan Ahmad Ghiyath al-Din Khan want to recieve the answers for questions that concern me." He spoke in Arabic. Fusun blinked then, but it was truly not her blinking at all.

The horrible and dark voice sounded from her mouth once again..

"Then you are truly a fool to call me forth on such excuse, for I am the very liege of falsehood! Tremble possessed, for I shall leave you no more!"

Ahmad watched in horror as his sister leaned forward towards him, and he closed his eyes for a moment, a terrible image flashing through his mind only for a moment;


It dissapeared the moment he opened them again, and saw his sister looking at him, shaking a bit.

It looked like her again, for a second then.
"Ahmad, it is the wrong...... Now you have seen with your own eyes..! Read the..." Her voice! Normal then not again...

Ahmad went to grab her shoulders with his hands but let go as he felt a sting burn inflict his palms, yet he held her anyway, crying out as he felt his hands but at the touch of her possessed skin. She wirthed and wretched violently, her eyes blackening once more. Then Ahmad realized what she was trying to tell him. He looked to where he had put it down, and began reading the passage she had given to him aloud,

"Audhu bi wajhi'llahi' l-karim wa bi kalimati'llahi't.." she ripped the paper out of his hand and tore it in half... no, it was whatever was inside her. Ahmad made to pick up it's torn pieces, yet as he did so Ahmad suddenly felt a terrible pain in his face, which knocked him back. She had punched him, right in the eye.
He was shocked. This certainly wasn't his sister, standing before him.

"Fusun! Hear me... come out of it! Fusun!"

She stood back, angry like a beast, and laughing mailiciously enough to make him shudder. Ahmad, in his fear and confusion, ran to the chamber door and out of it, slamming it hard behind him. A terrible crying and gurgling could be heard behind it, and Ahmad's face was bruised once again as he in his panic tried to hold it shut, calling for his guards, who barricaded the Princess within her room.
If it was the Princess at all.

When asked what had happened by his advisors and Vizier, Ahmad refused to speak of it. While he looked badly battered, no one knew why the Sultan and Khan was so disturbed for the next many hours.

He only ordered,


"Send out the Jalayir Riders to every corner of these lands, and find the holiest of men whom know of Shaytan and his demons."

They asked, "Of course your highness... but, why?"

"Do not question me, JUST DO IT! I do not care how many swords you must point at their throats or how you might bribe them, but bring me a Holy man of healing, AND NOW!"

The Khan's courtroom was cleared as the orders were quickly carried out, none questioning his anger or motives...