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TomosCaerllion

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Last edited:

TomosCaerllion

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Introduction
Start:
Fariburz of Kesranid Satrapy, 'William the Conqueror' Bookmark, 1066.
A duke-tier independent Sunni Persian, ruling three counties divided between unhappy vassals and disgruntled brothers, in a part of the world that is truly diverse in 1066. The area around Shirvan is home to Armenians, Persians, Georgians and Kurds, with Sunni, Orthodox, Miaphystite and Shia provinces abounding, the Turkish Seljuks and Greek Byzantines are on your doorstep, and the former is eager to immediately seize your lands. In the short lived game that inspired this AAR, I doubled the size of the realm, beat down a rebellion, lost all but one province to the Seljuks and found myself coverting to Miaphysite to save me from a Georgian Holy War. I quit at this point but have been wondering ever since what a great story it would make - an exiled Persian prince, the rightful holder of the ancient title of 'Shirvanshah', intermarrying with Christians, scheming with Byzantines, building his power and biding his time... Could the Kesranids have one day returned to Shirvan as conquerors, reclaimed their birthright and, perhaps, forged for themselves a Coptic Christian Persian Empire? In any case, starting in such a melting pot seems a ready forge for drama.

History: The title of Shirvanshah is old, dating to pre-Islamic times and potentially the foundation of the Sassanid Empire. The Kesranids are relative newcomers to this ancient title, having been appointed as governors by the Caliphs to the border province of Shirvan. They ruled as Bedouin occupiers for centuries as the Yazidids, until a ruler named Yazid III, who was Persianised to the extent that he adopted Persian naming conventions for his sons, and the dynasty became known as the Kesranids or Shirvanshahs. Embracing the pre-Islamic past and claiming descent from the Shahanshahs of old, rather than claiming legitimacy as governors for the Caliphs, the Shirvanshahs became vibrant patrons of Persian art, poetry, architecture and scholarship. By 1066 the Kesranids are firmly Persian, but in a difficult position. The historical Kesranids had to contend with repeated Seljuk invasions, wars with Alans and Caucasian Emirs, and internal conflicts - all of which seem to occur in-game too.

Goals and House Rules: Anything and everything.
The Kesranids are the protagonists in this game, and I will do all I can to help them survive. There are no house rules on culture-switching or religion-switching, except that they must be within the bounds of reason and not break immersion. In fact, if the Kesranids become exiles away from their Persianate heartland, it is highly likely that they will change their religious hue, and possibly even adopt a new culture. However, the true destiny of the Shirvanshahs is to be the Shahs of Shirvan - if at all possible the exiled Kesranids will always return to their beloved Persian culture upon reclaiming their rightful homeland. I will let events shape the path of this AAR and the fate of the Kesranids, but will always bear in mind that they shall always bear the title of 'Shirvanshah' and will seek to substantiate this.

The story shall mostly be told in the format of one-update-per-ruler, but significant rulers may be split into parts. This will be a family-focused biography of the Shirvanshahs, but broader historical interpretation may be added for major events or big political, cultural or religious changes.
 
Last edited:

Slayen

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Well, if nothing else you've got my attention.
 

blitzthedragon

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Ooh! I've been waiting for another Persian AAR, especially after getting a taste of that aborted Megacampaign that got necro'd a couple weeks ago.
 

TomosCaerllion

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Book I : Fariburz

From the Shirvanshahnameh, 'the Shirvanian Book of Kings', by the Lesser Omar.
The Conquests of Fariburz

Despite his erudite and bookish disposition, Fariburz fought hard to expand and protect his Shahdom. He mostly subjugated and conquered the divided rulers of eastern Armenia. His policy of conquering a province and leaving the native ruler in place would come back to haunt him, as Fariburz spent many later years fighting the uprising of Count Grigor of Dwin, whose rebellion made the realm a weak target for Fariburz' uncles and brothers, all of whom betrayed him at this point. Fariburz was forced to take a forced loan from local Jewry and merchants in order to end these revolts and unite his realm - all this gold was later paid back by the generous sovereign.


The expanded Satrapy, with Seljuk border demarcated in red.

His Patronage of Art and Culture

It was at this time that my predecessor as chronicler, the great Omar Khayyam, composed the beginnings of what was planned as a great family chronicle. The separation of Khayyam from his patron would later grant me the work of composing this book, to faithfully record the history and deeds - good and ill together - so that the Shirvanshahs, even in exile, shall never forget themselves nor their ancient royal pedigree.



Khayyam was rewarded with land and title, and while I joined my patron in exile, Khayyam's lands were protected by the Grand Turk and he became a Beylerbey. It is with a heavy heart that I, the lesser Omar, record that the great Persian philosopher and inheritor of ancient wisdom now parades as a Turkish warlord, where once he was our Court Poet and the Marzoban of Kafan.



Manuchehr Fariburzzade, the Crown Prince, was trusted by his father to create a great work. Although Caliph Al-Qa'im was a controversial subject, going by the name of 'the Lecher' in many parts, the work was of true beauty. Sadly, the Seljuks did not appreciate it, thinking the Caliph's image to be a form of idolatry and worrying that it could be a focus for opposition, and it has since vanished, likely destroyed.



The Great Georgian War

Growing ever more brave, the Shirvanshah declared war on his northern rivals, the Hashimids, and attempted to seize Derbent. Weakened by war with the Georgians, Fariburz saw his chance, but was too late. The Hashimids submitted to the Georgians, handing over their towns and castles without a fight to the Christians. The Georgians now saw Fariburz as their enemy, since Derbent now belonged to them despite the occupation by Shirvan. The Georgians outnumbered the men of Shirvan, but with the aid of Bulgarian mercenaries and defensive mountain tactics the Georgians were defeated and forced to pay a vast war reparation, making up some of the heavy cost of hiring mercenaries for a long campaign. A number of great battles were fought, but the turning point was truly the battle of Zeda-Zadan. Up until this point the course of the war could easily have turned either way, but Fariburz held his ground and chose the terrain, defending in the mountains.



The Year of Calamities



Between the winter of 1083 and the summer of 1084 the Shirvanshahs were shook to the roots by a great storm and torn from their home soil. The Great Seljuk declared that Shirvan belonged to him, as the Khan of Persia (what arrogance!) and entered the lands of the Kesranids with such force that the entire armed supporters of the Shah, combined with his favoured Bulgarian mercenaries, could not hold their ground against the onslaught. Shirvan and Azerbaijan were lost, and the Fariburz was left with only a few mountain forts in the land of Armenia. Sensing weakness and eager for revenge, one of the ruling house of Georgia, Bagrationi, Davit, launched a Holy War against Fariburz.

The populace of Kartli and Lori were not yet loyal, and the ruler of Dwin was in revolt. With Kartli under Georgian occupation, and the rebels of Dwin being annihilated by invading Romans, Fariburz became increasingly stressed and suffered from melancholia. Fleeing for his life after his army was shattered in Lori, he ran into the hills and climbed the steep way to a lonely Armenian monastery. There he found a dilapidated ruin, standing in a land so often the place of bloodshed, with not a soul in sight. He walked to the alter and began to pray, and did not stop all through the night, even after being joined by the local monks. The next morning he was baptised into the Christian faith as an Armenian Christian and was offered sanctuary. Since the Kesranids were now fellow brothers in Christ, Duke Davit reluctantly ceased his invasion and withdrew to Georgia.

The Shirvanshahs in Exile

The Kesranids were now limited to their western conquests, with a disloyal and diverse Christian population of Armenians and Georgians, and surrounded by enemies. The Roman Empire to the West had recently reclaimed that part of Anatolia seized only a decade before by the Great Seljuk Alp Arslan, and now seizing Dwin, exemplifying their renewed rigour as the only regional power capable of standing up to the Turks and protecting the Shirvanshahs from Georgia. Adopting the strategy of so many political exiles through the centuries, Fariburz wrote to the Basileus in Constantinople and offered his service on the eastern limits of empire. Happy to incorporate new lands peacefully into his imperial realm, the Basileus extended his protection over the Shirvanshah, who would now serve as a Roman Doux on the eastern edges of Anatolia.



The next few years would be focused on consolidation. Fariburz could not afford to have vassals as strong as he, and still professing the Islamic faith. This enemy within would surely end his dynasty. With a few well placed murders, which became a public source of shame upon the house of Kesranid, and the putting down of a provoked rebellion, Fariburz managed to unify his realm, and ensure that he had a good core of Miaphysite Persian supporters to back him. Fariburz moved his capital to the province of Kartli, right in the midst of his enemies and on the edge of empire. He was partly inspired by being close to the banks of a river that, if followed, would lead into the Kura River that flows through his homeland of Shirvan. His desperation to return to his homeland would never be realised in his lifetime. Upon Fariburz' death in Kartli, he was buried in a new church on the banks of the river that would guide his restless soul home one last time before it ascended into heaven.

 

TomosCaerllion

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Thanks for joining, Slayen and blitzthedragon!

I was really excited when I saw that Immortal into the Starts one getting a new post, but was disappointed when it was just a necro. I just really want to see a Persian Empire in space. Hopefully you won't be disappointed by this AAR, since it has a core Persian strand but the way of the world (read; the Seljuks) means that for the time being the Shirvanshahs will be Christian rulers in Armenia, but at least they still have the Persian culture (though even that may change as it seems Greeks get all the good promotions in Byzantium).
 

blitzthedragon

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Dang, the Shah-turned-Doux was flying by the seat of his pants for awhile there. Thankfully, his dynasty has been secured (for now, at least). But methinks this is only just the beginning of a long exile.
 

Slayen

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The title of Shirvanshah survived the conversion from Zoroastrian to Muslim and it will endure the conversion to Miaphysite.

Out of curiosity, do you see this as a lasting change or do you plan to convert back should the opportunity present itself?
 

TomosCaerllion

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Yes, I think we'll see a fair few generations of Byzantine scheming before getting the means or the opportunity to retake Shirvan.

As for the religion, I've not actually decided. I am intrigued by the thought of a Coptic Persia, but with the Basileus introducing religious revocation laws in the next part, Godarz might have to become Orthodox to keep his lands. Depending on the character and the state of Shirvan and Persia when/if they are taken, the Shirvanshahs may take their new religion home with them, or readopt Islam.
 

Elden

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This looks like it will be an interesting story, can't wait to see where it goes. :D

As for the religion, I've not actually decided. I am intrigued by the thought of a Coptic Persia, but with the Basileus introducing religious revocation laws in the next part, Godarz might have to become Orthodox to keep his lands. Depending on the character and the state of Shirvan and Persia when/if they are taken, the Shirvanshahs may take their new religion home with them, or readopt Islam.
I thought religious revocation only meant for heresies or different religions so the Basileus shouldn't be able to use it if you're just a different branch or Christianity (unless you're a heresy of that branch). Are there any Zoroastrian courtiers left in the world? Maybe you could even readopt it when you get back into Persia?
 

TomosCaerllion

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Ah yes! I've just moved back to CK2 after playing lots of EUIV, so had forgotten completely about the distinctive meaning of heresy in CK2. It's good to remember as I'd rather stay Miaphysite. Orthodoxy is just too mainstream. :p

I just checked and there is one Zoroastrian courtier left in the world in 1113, and she's my courtier, so it might be possible to keep the religion alive in my court, with a bit of care. There are still loads of Zoroastrian provinces all over Persia, so there is always that chance that a rebel-state will arise and keep the flames burning. I am tempted to educate a daughter or two as Zoroastrians. My family is already religiously diverse, Godarz is Miaphysite, with Orthodox and Sunni siblings.
 

danceingatdusk

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Is Godarz a son or grandson of Fariburz? Because in the Book 1 post Fariburz's son and heir was Manuchehr Fariburzzade. A family tree showing how each ruler in every post are related to each other many be useful as well. Could you show/list any important marriages or alliances that helped the family in either gaining more power or retaking parts of their homeland? I feel that doing that would give us readers a better idea of how that family is using the resources (aka marriages and head of the family- The Shirvanshah stats) at there disposal to gain back what they have lost.
 
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TomosCaerllion

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Godarz is the third son of Fariburz. Muchehr Fariburzzade and another son were outlived by their father, and Godarz was the most capable of the remaining heirs (as well as oldest) so he inherited the Duchy through elective. Godarz loses the Duchy when it is usurped by the Seljuks (who control its territory) so Godarz is back to gavelkind for the time being, which I'm sure will cause heir-troubles. There'll be more important marriages coming up, since you get quite powerful women in Byzantium and Godarz marries one as soon as he can. In the first part the only alliance-granting marriage was to an Oghuz princess, whose father was quickly deposed, so Fariburz' wives were basically just baby factories and educators.

Unfortunately the only screenshot I have of young Fariburz is from a game that was game over pretty quickly with a Seljuk invasion, so the stats are just an idea. I've put his at-death stats next to them though so you can get the idea.



Traits are Honest, Craven, Charitable and Erudite.
At death they are: Scarred, Craven, Charitable, Erudite, Proud, Kind and Incapable.

I'll start the next part with an introduction to Godarz and a screenshot of his stats.
 

TomosCaerllion

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Book II: Godarz
Godarz was the thirdborn son of Fariburz, a predecessor so longlived that he outlived his first two heirs. Although at the time of his accession to the counties of Kartli and Lori he was a member of the Orthodox communion, he quickly returned to the Miaphysite Church of his father. For much of his reign his heirs would be his Muslim brothers, and a difficulty producing heirs caused much concern among his court and family. Godarz was a strong warrior and an able general, serving the Basileus as a commander in many wars.



Marriage to Kyra


Godarz' betrothed, Kyra, became the Strategissa of Paphlagonia, a wealthy region in north-western Anatolia, before their marriage, and Godarz hoped to secure a Greek aristocratic lineage and lucrative estates for any children they would conceive. Unfortunately, it was rare for any contact between the couple, as Kyra had many enemies in Paphlagonia and elsewhere that saw the rule of a woman married to a foreigner as a chance to further their own interests. As a result, Kyra spent her entire adult rule in hiding, much to the frustration of her husband, who did so desire a son from her.



Loss of the Title of 'Doux'

As a vassal of the Emperor of the Romans, Godarz was only briefly recognised with the dignity of a Doux. Since the lands his father had ruled were now ruled by a Seljuk Beylerbey, and Godarz only infact ruled two counties within the empire, he was only addressed as Count Godarz. Fortunately, he was not placed under the authority of a Strategos and answered directly to the Branas dynasty in Constantinople.



At this time Godarz fought bravely in the defence of Anatolia against a Sunni Jihad, and saw it successfully repelled.

Moment of Madness

Following his long exertions in Anatolia, Godarz returned with many peculiar habits. He would spit and contort himself and spoke in tongues. It became apparent that Godarz was under possession by a demon, probably having entered him from the body of a slain Turk warrior that fought with mad ferocity. Godarz would suffer for many years fighting his demon, but would triumph eventually by employing the services of a monk trained in exorcism.

Lord of the Fringe

Godarz channelled his ambitions for more land through diplomatic channels at court, when it became a possibility that Kyra would bear him no children. Owing to his previous service for the Basileus, Godarz was granted the rule of an additional county. The Basileus saw fit to grant him the furthest possession from his existing lands on the eastern fringe of empire, and granted him the small Byzantine outpost in Sicily, the port county of Amalfi. Godarz would have great difficulty propagating Miaphysite worship throughout Amalfi, as proselytising missionaries were often sent from the imperial court to enforce Orthodoxy. This pattern was common throughout all lands belonging to the minority Coptic faith, with Miaphysitism being almost eliminated from Armenia. Rumours stated that deep into the territory snaked by the nile, beyond lands known even to the Mohammedans, an empire of Copts survived and flourished, and had even conquered lands in Arabia.



Nevertheless, Amalfi would become as much of a home to the Shirvanshahs in exile as Kartli, despite the vast distance between them.



Chancellor and the Loss of Lori

Having gained additional land, Godarz further advanced the family's standing in the politics of Constantinople by being appointed Chancellor. Godarz was now deeply imbedded in his host country. Despite being considered somewhat of a foreigner, due to his strange speech and Persian customs, he was now commanding armies of Greeks and held a government post second only to the imperial family itself. As a councillor, Godarz would have many great problems to grapple with, and sadly fail. The Shia Caliph in Egypt had declared a Holy Jihad to claim Anatolia, and the Seljuks were encroaching on Armenia. WIth two great empires to face at once, the Byzantine armies crumbled and Armenia was lost, including the county of Lori. Kartli now lay outside the greater borders of the empire, and Godarz would have to risk travel through Georgia, or worse Seljuk Armenia, to travel from his own demesne to the capital.



Princess Anthousa

It is rumoured that Godarz learned of some embarrassing secret of Basileus David Branas, or helped him out greatly in some private moment of need, as it was later acknowledged that Godarz was owed a great favour by the crown. This favour was called in at a meeting where Godarz proposed an engagement to wed between the young Princess Anthousa and his brother, and heir, Khudayar. This was shortly after Fareedun succumbed to an illness and died.



Godarz, frustrated by the absence of his wife, had gained a reputation for clumsily trying to seduce heiresses or royal princesses, and was no longer welcomed in the Sicilian court or in the company of many a Strategos. His charms did eventually succeed, however, in wooing the imperial princess Elaiodora - although if the rumours surrounding the princess are true, it did not take much to woo Elaiodora.



Authority and Decline

Godarz continued to work well with David Branas, and worked up a reputation as a mercenary by accepting frequent 'gifts' from the Basileus in return for voting away the powers of the council. This money was used to greatly expand on the neglected county capital in Amalfi, which had neither walls nor garrisons nor a market when it was granted to Godarz.



After a decade of war, Anatolia was finally lost to the heathen, becoming part of the realm of the Sultan of Egypt.

Godarz was now separated from his Kartli exclave by a great landmass with difficult mountainous terrain and hostile occupiers. For the sake of practicality and safety, the court in exile of the Shirvanshahs was moved to the County of Amalfi, where the sea could provide a means of fast travel and communication with the rest of the empire. Many months would pass between hearing any news from Kartli, and Godarz lived in fear that soon his lands would be reduced to a small outpost in the middle of a land, and sea, that were until very recently alien to him.



In Amalfi, Godarz sought to invest in creating a court worthy of his lineage, and encouraged all forms of art and culture, turning his own hand to writing poems of love and longing in the Persian tongue.



The Second Crusade

A small victory for Christendom, but viewed with some trepidation in Constantinople, the Second Crusade was far more successful than its disastrous first run, and managed to seize Jerusalem and much of the Levant from the Caliph of Egypt. At the same time Godarz announced the unfortunate death of his wife, Kyra, who had just returned from hiding, having lost all of her family lands in the Jihad. Many believed, as does your chronicler, that Godarz had her killed, having no use for her now that she was unlanded with few fertile years left. Instead he took as his betrothed a young Byzantine Princess named Alexandra.



The Second Crusade's winnings didn't last long, since the Caliph of Baghdad declared a Jihad on them, which the Seljuks took up with vigour. Jerusalem now belonged to the Turks. Egyptian weakness provided a modest opportunity for the Basileus, who retook a small amount of land in the interior.



Fariburz and the Princess

Khudayar died in 1139, leaving Fariburz Manuchehrzade as Godarz' heir. Godarz had him immediately married to Khudayar's widow Anthousa, to ensure that the Basileus and Shirvanshah would be linked by blood, even if Godarz failed to conceive with his own Princess Alexandra.



When Godarz eventually produced a son, it would be legally adopted by the cuckholded father, denying Godarz the heir he craved.



Death

Godarz died a natural death and enjoyed an extremely long reign and life. He enjoyed an illustrious career in service to Byzantium, although he failed to gain great feudal holdings for his family, or to produce a son. He was succeeded by his nephew Fariburz, who outlived his uncles and won the right to the position his own father had lost out on due to his early death - that of Shirvanshah. A title that still holds great meaning for the Persian exiles, even now that it has brought them to Italian soil.

 

TomosCaerllion

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Bit of a long one, but Godarz just refused to die and didn't quite warrant a two-parter. I was on the edge of my seat for a son for so long, but in the end I was resigned to the idea of a brother inheriting, before they all died off. I almost ran out of male relatives.
 

alscon

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Godarz has taken the next step in exile, and it does not seem as if the Basileus may hold on to Kartli much longer - it will be interesting to see if and how the Kesranids return to Shirvan ;).
 

blitzthedragon

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Persian Italy? What a time to be alive.
 
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TomosCaerllion

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Book III: Fariburz of Amalfi

Fariburz was already old when he inherited the County of Amalfi, and the powerless but beloved mantle of the Shirvanshah. His younger wife, Anthousa (widow of his uncle Khudayar), would constantly seek other companions, with frequent liaisons with Bishops. Though this caused much embarrassment and frustrated Fariburz, he never divorced or otherwised disposed of her, instead fervently banishing all offspring born within the periods of her adultery. This did not end all doubts about his other children, but it seemed to satisfy Fariburz.



The Tyrant's War

The Branas family appeared to have a relatively strong grip on power, and David Branas had outlived many Shirvanshahs and seemed to be establishing a dynastic succession. But the nobles became increasingly hostile towards the Branas regime as it attempted to establish stronger central control, neutering the council and demanding ever more taxes. Being only the second Basileus of the Branas family, and the second elected Emperor since the reform of 1100, David Branas thought that he was at the beginning of a long line, but his disgruntled council could think that the new regime was still only a bud, ripe for the nipping. A small revolt against David Branas, now known as David 'the Cruel', was swiftly being defeated, with rebel territory falling at lighting speed. Fate struck during one fateful battle, however, as David Branas led his troops from the front, and was struck by a lance in the process.



Lying dead on the field of battle, the rebellion dissolved and the council of the Strategoi elected a new emperor of a new dynasty - Nikephoros (the Third) Basiliakos.


The Branas Inheritence

Having died in battle before he could produce a male heir, the Branas lands were split between his daughters. Anthousa Branas, before merely a prestigious match with great links, now became a powerful landowner, mightier than her Kesranid husband. Duchess Anthousa of Thracesia controlled much of the recently conquered border lands taken by her father in his wars, as well as a secure base in Hellas.



The Birth of Akbar

The reign of Fariburz, Count of Amalfi, was marked by little action. He married to a good match who became a great woman, he produced many daughters, he rebuilt walls and founded a new Church. His predecessor Godarz would appear to have far eclipsed Fariburz in greatness, but for all his military skill and diplomatic manoeuvring, Godarz failed in the essential task of any lord - to create stability and continuity by producing a direct male heir. Godarz dreamed of a son, with the blood of the Roman Emperors entwined with that of the Shirvanshahs, he dreamt of a son who could inherit vast lands in Roman territory, and the dignity of a Doux - but his failure to produce a legitimate heir made an ignoble end to a noble life. Fariburz, in his modest reign and unremarkable life, built the stage on which the greatest yet of the Shirvanshahs would act out his life: The boy-Shah Akbar, heir to the Duchy of Thracesia and the County of Amalfi. A man who had imperial blood in his veins, and who would be destined to seize the purple from the Basiliakos usurper.

The Conquest of the Maghreb


By some frenzy of military and religious fervour, or seeking after wealth and access to trans-Saharan trade, the Princes of Italy all seem to have devoted great effort to subduing the Sultanates of North Africa. By the death of Fariburz, most of the Maghreb was split between Sicily, Pisa, Naples and Salerno, with one small French exclave. The French too had built more of a presence in the western Mediterranean by seizing ports on the east coast of Spain. The Islamic hold on the Maghreb and Andalusia was beginning to look vulnerable.​



Conquered, we Conquer

The Turkish conquerors of Persia, the Great Selcuk, had long been distant from refined court culture, but in the reign of Shah Hasan the Khans dropped their barbaric titles and became as Persians. Hasan spoke Persian, sponsored Persian artworks, and considered himself to be a Persian Shah, not a steppe Khan.



The Death of Fariburz

Fariburz lived a long life, but could have done with just a few years more. Producing his only son so late in life, Fariburz left a mighty inheritance to a three year old boy. A three year old boy with landed estates and imperial relations can expect a short life, cut short by the poison of some wicked aunt or the knife of an ambitious cousin. Akbar could expect to inherit great power, but only if he could survive a childhood fraught with danger.

 

TomosCaerllion

Gladio vici, gladio teneo, gladio tenebo.
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Sorry for the long wait, folks! I had a busy week followed by a holiday in Istanbul (not Constantinople), and then came back to find my whole family harbouring a disease that they generously shared with me. Now that I'm compos mentis again and have a bit of time, I'll try to bring you up to date to where I am. I'm still playing the long rule of Akbar, who really has lived up to his name so far, and struggling to find a way to keep the Kesranids on top. Akbar is going to be at least a two-parter, and could end up hogging three whole posts if he keeps on living.

EDIT: I'm so hyped for Stellaris that I'm tempted to carry on going if this AAR produces an interesting nation, taking it through EUIV and then basing a Star Empire on its ethos.
 

Avarri

Megas Domestikos
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Great stuff! Persian Muslims plausibly ending up as Miaphysites in Amalfi and (potentially) holders of the imperial title isn't something you see everyday! Keep up the good work!