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macd21

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So, this is my first AAR in quite a while. Real life has kept me busy for about a year or so, but now that I have some more free time I've decided to write up another play-through.

With the release of RoM, I thought it would be nice to try out one of the Coptic states, giving me a chance to play around with both the new religious mechanics and try out dealing with the institutions with a non-European realm.

I don't have much in the way of goals - expand slowly, try to liberate the Coptic holy sites, maybe set up a few colonies. This won't be a world-domination run and I won't be trying to min-max my play for optimum expansion, just a fairly casual game. It's iron man, with all of the big DLC active (don't think I have all of the cosmetic ones).

So, with the intro out of the way...

Chapter 1: Rise of an Empire
Chapter 2: Strength through Unity
Chapter 3: The Horn of Africa
Chapter 4: Fall of the Mamluks
Chapter 5: Broader Horizons
Chapter 6: The Eight Years War
Chapter 7: The Saviours
Chapter 8: The Long Peace
Chapter 9: Costly Endevours
Chapter 10: Crusades
Chapter 11: The Egyptian Gamble
Chapter 12: Teweflos the Banker
Chapter 13: The Queen of Sheba
Chapter 14: The Scramble for Asia
Chapter 15: The Anatolian War
Chapter 16: Colonial Tensions
Chapter 17: The 2nd English Succession War
Chapter 18: Ethiopia Triumphant
Chapter 19: The Commonwealth Wars
 
Last edited:

macd21

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Chapter 1: Rise of an Empire

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The great empire of Ethiopia lies just west of the Red Sea, though it lacks a coastline of its own. It stands as one of the most powerful realms in the Horn of Africa, which is otherwise divided amongst a plethora of heathen sultanates and principalities. To the immediate north and west lie the Coptic realms of Alodia, Kaffa and Medri Bahri, potential rivals and allies. Beyond them wait the Mamluks, the greatest power on the Red Sea.

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Ruling Ethiopia is the great Negusa Nagast Yara Yakob Solominid. This brilliant ruler, known for his righteous and zealous nature, is relatively young. Hopefully he will have a long and prosperous reign. Unfortunately his heir, Ba'eda Maryam Solominid, is far less impressive. Perhaps he will be able to prove himself in battle...

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Though a large realm, the empire is not a prosperous land. Most of it's provinces are poor and sparsely populated. Additionally, the people of the southeastern reaches follow the teachings of Islam, something that will have to change. Driving the Sunni faith from the empire will be difficult, but thankfully...

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...our possession of Askum draws provides us with a plentiful supply of holy men, who will be used to establish monasteries and spread the word of Christ (I chose the "Send Monks to Establish Monasteries" bonus as my blessing. Given the number of Sunni provinces I'll have to convert, it seemed more useful than the other options). Combined with our rulers zealous personality (+1% missionary strength), it should allow us to convert our heathen subjects in a reasonable amount of time.

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While Ethiopia is more powerful than her neighbours, it is not amazingly so and will require allies for both offence and defence. Kaffa, Adal and Yemen are all rivals, leaving Alodia and Medri Bahri as the most likely candidates for friendship. An alliance is quickly secured with Alodia, but our relationship with Medri Bahri is limited to a royal marriage (for now). Negusa Menas Bahri is 67 years old and lacks heirs. With a little luck, this wouuld present us with an opportunity in the near future.

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Joyous news, as our ruler takes on a new consort, Eleni. Now if only I could do something about our heir.

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Speaking of Ba'eda, it seems the emperor has found a use for him. Technically our war goal is to seize the territory of Gambela from Kaffa, but in truth we want to subjugate our pretentious little neighbour (rival us, will you!?!). With no allies and a weak military, they're an obvious target for our ambitious prince.

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While our army invaded Kaffa, the emperor's court is rocked by the decision of one of the realm's most influential nobles to take holy vows. Impressed by Galawdewos Eshete's pious zealotry, the emperor considered giving him funds to establish more monasteries in the east (hire him as an Inquisitor), but decided to delay such plans until after the war. Eshete's vows also removed him as a threat to the throne, reducing the strength of the nobility. As a result the emperor felt confident enough of his position to appoint another influential noble to head of the Ethiopian army (I used the noble estate to gain a 40 tradition general, a vast improvement over the crown prince). Amusingly, the new general's name is also Ba'eda Maryam, of the Asres family.

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The new general soon proved his worth, defeating Kaffa's army in the field. The shattered remains were pursued across the border and permanently scattered. General Asres then began to besiege Kaffa's strongholds.

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Welcome news from the east - the sultanate of Adal was been dragged into a losing war with Ajuuraan and Warsangali. If we had not been embroiled in a conflict of our own, we would certainly have used the opportunity to strike at Adal ourselves.

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More interesting news from abroad. Negusa Menas Bahri has died without a male heir. The nobles of Medri Bahri chose to accept the husband of his daughter, Taqla Haymanot Solominid, as their new Negusa. But as Negusa Yara Yakob was the head of the Solominid dynasty, Taqla would of course have to bend knee to his rightful liege...

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While General Asres brought the war in Kaffa to a conclusion, the crown prince led the rest of the army north. Even as he led his forces across the border, Kaffa's last stronghold fell. It would retain some independence (for know), but would serve as Ethiopia's vassal.

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Taqla's army refused to engage our forces, perhaps sensing the inevitable. While our troops lay siege to the capital, however, Alodia declared war on them, perhaps hoping to seize some land for themselves before it was secured by Ethiopia. What's more, the experience gained by our troops in battling Kaffa paid off, as they improved their tactics and morale, becoming a more seasoned, professional force.

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Occupied by both Ethiopian and Alodian troops, Medri Bahri surrendered, accepting the emperor's claim to their throne. The Alodian army, recognising their chance to seize territory had passed, slunk back across the border.

Ethiopia had secured its position as the dominant power over the Coptic African realms. Kaffa was a vassal, Medri Bahri was under union and Alodia was an ally. The emperor considered launching an invasion of Adal, but just as his troops prepared to cross the border, Ajuuraan ended its war with the sultanate. While victory would still have been likely, the emperor instead chose to bide his time and instead concentrate on matters closer to home. The invasion of Medri Bahri had resulted in some instability in the realm and much of the country remained in Sunni hands, something which the conquest of Adal would only exacerbate (down a point of stability for declaring war on Medri Bahri and as I'd just spent a load of admin points on bringing up my tech I hadn't yet been able to bring it up yet, plus my religious unity still wasn't great. Taking provinces I'd need to core and convert wouldn't help with that).

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The subjugation of our weaker neighbours led to some changes on the diplomatic front as well. We had risen above the local powers, meaning Yemen and Adal could no longer be realistically viewed as worthy rivals. We were now in a position to challenge the Mamluks (they were the only country I could choose as a rival). We also secured an alliance with Warsangali, in an effort to secure our eastern flank. They could prove useful in a war with Adal and would discourage aggression from Ajuuraan, who were a rising power to the south.

Galawdewos Eshete was finally given the financial backing he needed to begin building new monasteries in the south and east, speeding up the conversion of the Sunni peoples there. The emperor also decided to celebrate his victories over his neighbours by building a new temple in Gonder, on the shores of Lake Tana.

Meanwhile tales reached the emperor of strange new developments in the Christian lands far to the north, beyond the shores of the Mamluk territories. The Renaissance had begun.

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A number of relatively peaceful years followed, though the emperor did have some difficulty maintaining stability within his borders. No sooner had the realm recovered from the disruption caused by the invasion of Medri Bahri than did the sighting of a comet rile up the people again, further disrupting his plans (seriously, the event fired the month after I'd brought my stability back up to zero). Finally order was restored, further assisted by the emperor's decision to protect the privileges of some of the newly founded monasteries. While this reduced his influence over some provinces, it benefited the realm as a whole.

Tensions with the Mamluks continued to worsen. Word has reached the emperor that the Copts of Egypt were being persecuted. A strongly worded letter was issued to Cairo, but the response from the Sultan was nothing less than contemptuous. While this was a legitimate cause for a military response, we were unfortunately not in a position to take on the Mamluks and their allies. Yet.

A group of nobles rose up in revolt in the south, but were quickly put down. To the south, Ajuuraan secured its hold over its newly conquered territories, making it apparent that they were a rising threat (they were now powerful enough for us to rival).

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With Ajuuraan menacing us from the south and the Mamluks looming to the north, it was decided the time was right to deal with the threat on our eastern border. Our troops had improved their master of the spear (Mil tech 5), giving us the edge in any combat. They quickly marched across the border and crushed the enemy army outside the capital, completely destroying the enemy army in a single battle. A lengthy siege of the heavily fortified city then followed. Thankfully, while Adal's allies in Arabia (Yemen and Najd) answered their call to arms, they seemed disinclined the cross the Red Sea and did not interfere with our efforts to occupy the sultanate.

A group of Sunni rebels rose up in revolt in Shewa, but they were unable to capture the province before Harer fell. General Asres first defeated a second army raised by the Sultan before marching to the relief of Shewa and crushing the rebellion. Our Alodian allies meanwhile captured Adal's last holdout in Zeila, allowing us to bring the war to a close.

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With the loss of the great trade-city of Harer, Adal had been effectively reduced to a city-state, holding little more than the port of Zaila and the surrounding hinterland. We had also seized a strip of sparsely populated coastline in Assab, finally granting us access to the sea. The capture of Degehabur granted us a border with Warsangali, so that we and our allies could come to the other's aid if need be.

Ethiopia had risen to a position of great strength in the Horn of Africa. We had the best troops in the region. We had subjugated two of our neighbours and crippled a third, removing the most immediate threats to our power. Our monks were making steady progress converting the heathens of the south and east. Our economy was still nothing impressive, but our troops remained the best in the region, allowing us to rely upon a smaller army for security.

The remnants of Adal would need to be absorbed, but out main concerns were the Mamluks and Ajuuraan, who would need to be confronted at some point. Ajuuraan was not particularly powerful, but was allied with Warsangali and other states to the south, so a war of aggression would place us at a disadvantage - but likewise they could not declare war on us without alienating their allies. The Mamluks, on the other hand, were much more powerful than Ethiopia.. Their army was easily twice as large as our own, meaning they would prove a threat even if their allies in Arabia did not join them. Until they were dealt with, Ethiopia's hold over the region was in question.
 

Tom D.

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Very interesting, with RoM, Ethiopia gained much more flavour which promises a good story for an AAR. Let's see how the Ethiopian Empire deals with the Mamluks. Subbed.
 

Communitnerd92

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Very good written AAR thus far, so looking forward for the next part. Subbed.
 

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Just need to avoid being a Coptic Sandwich.

Looks interesting
 

macd21

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Chapter 2: Strength through Unity

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The defeat of Adal had brought a number of new Sunni provinces into the empire. These would need to be converted, as would those along the border with Kaffa that had yet to accept the Coptic faith. Thanks to the great work of Galawdewos Eshete, however, it would only be a few years until this was accomplished.

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General Asres had defeated the realm's immediate enemies and Eshete was taking care of converting the Sunnis, so the emperor decided to take on a new project. The emperor's court in Gondar had grown over the past few years, as Ethiopia's influence had expanded. Nobles, monks and merchants from across the empire had converged on Gondar in order to be close to the centre of power, which in turn had led to servants, slaves, mercenaries, scholars and opportunists taking up residence along the waters of Lake Tana (I'd spent some monarch points on development). Strangers from afar brought with them new wares, new ways and new ideas. While Gondar's population had increased, however, it was still little more than a sprawling tent-city. The emperor was not content with this. He wished Gondar to be a great centre of commerce, faith and learning, befitting of the heart of his magnificent empire.

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The death of Itegi Eleni was an unfortunate blow, especially as she had yet to bare any children to replace the unimpressive Ba'eda Maryam Solominid as heir.

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Thankfully a new candidate for Itegi was soon found. On this occasion Negusa Yara Yakob insured the continuation of his line by refusing to marry until his new bride had born him a son. They were wed on the day of Giyorgis Solomonid's birth. Ba'eda Maryam was set aside in favour of the young child.

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After a decade of work, the emperor's efforts to expand Gondar had born fruit. A thriving metropoplis now spread out from his palace, a melting pot of cultures and faiths. The knowledge of the world made its way to the emperor's court, which would have profound consequences upon Ethiopia and the surrounding region (I embraced the Renaissance).

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News from the north - the Mamluks were being invaded by an even more powerful empire, the mysterious Ottomans. Their army had been defeated in the field, greatly reducing their strength. Perhaps the time had come to launch our own invasion?

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On the other hand, Adal was also at war, struggling against Ajuuraan and their allies once again. With their forces already engaged to the south, they would easily fall to our superior forces. We could either secure a guaranteed victory against our eastern neighbour, or risk an opportunistic attack on the Mamluks and hope to strip some territory from them before they recovered.

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While the emperor considered his options, word reached him that Galawdewos Eshete had passed away. His work was all but complete, however - the Sunni faith now held sway in just one province, which would soon be converted. Ethiopia was united in faith.

With the completion of the last of Eshete's monasteries, the crown now had more funds to devote to military matters in preparation for war. Commandant Moarqos Dereje was placed in charge of improving the troops' training. But the emperor's decision as to whether her should attack north or south was decided by a most unexpected occurrence.

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The nobles of Gondar often chose to prove their martial prowess by holding contests of horsemanship, bow and spear. The latest competition was not won by one of the empire's nobles, however, but by a common warrior of unsurpassed ability. Clearly this was a sign from God - with Susenyos Wami to lead our armies, no enemy could stand before us. We would march north.

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By the time our forces crossed the border, the Ottomans had already occupied the Holy Land and were threatening the capital. However we could not be complacent - the Mamluk's army equalled that of our entire invasion force, subjects and Alodian allies included. If they were to turn from fighting the Ottomans they could drive us south again, with heavy casualties.

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Thankfully the counter-attack, when it came, was woefully inadequate. The rather incompetent warrior 'Abd al-Malik Ali (a maneuver 1 general) led a mere 11,000 men against us. Our forces were soon joined by those of our allies and al-Malik found himself facing an army 26,000 strong.

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We followed the retreating Egyptians down the Nile valley, leaving occupation forces behind us. We found Cairo besieged by the Ottomans, so we bypassed the city to the west and continued on to hallowed Alexandria. We had reached the Mediterranean.

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While our forces looted western Egypt, General Wami had the presence of mind to order that all maps that could be found be seized and brought to him. His findings were sent back to Gondar, giving the emperor a comprehensive picture of the Mediterranean and the Muslim lands of North Africa.

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Eventually General Wami ordered his forces south again. The Mamluks had come to terms with the Ottomans and rather than press his luck, the General decided to quit while he was ahead. Our forces held on to the Red Sea coast as far north as Qusayr and the inland fort at Aswan. Half of these lands were given to Medri Bahri to tend to. The rest were ours - they would serve as the base of our next strike against the northern heathens. We had reached the holy city of Alexandria and though we could not hold it for long, we would return and liberate it from the heathen Mamluks.
 

Tom D.

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A glorious victory for the Empire by defeating the now not so great Mamluks. May your godly general live for a long time.
 

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Being greedy has caused distress in many a campaign. I think you were right to get out of that war whilst you can. I am sure you will be ready and eager for round 2, whenever that may happen to be.
 

macd21

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Chapter 3: The Horn of Africa

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The empire was still digesting its Egyptian conquests when our allies in Alodia called for our assistance in their invasion of Makuria. Though the emperor had been considering taking those lands for himself (particularly the holy site of Qasr Ibrim), he decided that a strong Alodia was to Ethiopia's benefit. Besides, the lands of the region were poor. Alodia could have them, while Ethiopia concentrated on more prosperous prey.

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The war was short. The Makurians were unable to field a force remotely capable of challenging the Ethiopian army. The Alodians chose to seize control of the southern two thirds of the kingdom, sadly leaving Qasr Ibrim still in Muslim hands, but given they had just doubled the size of their realm, they could hardly be blamed for exercising some caution.

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The next few years were quiet ones. Itege Hagos, well known for her interest in military affairs, convened a council of the realm's generals and greatest warriors, where she engaged them in discussions of martial theory. This council would work to bring great improvements to Ethiopia's war methods (-10% cost to military tech for the next ten years).

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A strange traveller came to visit the emperor at his court on Gondar. He was welcomed with full honours - we hope to hear more from our Christian brethren from the far north!

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Kaffa was fully integrated into the empire. Their people would now be able to benefit fully from Negusa Nagast Yakob's benign rule. And their troops would now come under our direct control. In particular, the emperor was keen to insure that they (as all of his subjects) were strong in faith. He spent much of his days in conference with his religious advisers, debating theological matters with them and establishing a new code of religious practice by which the realm's spiritual well being might be assured (I had taken the religious idea group - the better to convert my many Muslim enemies with).

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With the Mamluks temporarily neutralised, it was time to look to the other threats surrounding us. Ajuuraan was the greatest menace. While they (and their allies) were unlikely to be able to defeat us on their own, should they strike at us while we were embroiled in another conflict, we might share the same fate as the Mamluks. There was also the many competing interests of Arabia to consider. Though not a threat at present, who knows what the future might bring?

The emperor took a step towards countering both threats by allying Oman. As a fellow rival of Ajuuraan, they were disposed towards assisting us in countering the Imamate. They might also prove useful in dealing with any problems that might arise in Arabia. In any event, it felt good to have an ally beyond Alodia. Better to have them as a friend than an enemy.

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The emperor's work with the Coptic clergy led to an understanding between the church and the crown. The emperor's subjects would now be required to attend church services once a week - and at those services, the prestigious history of the Solomonid line would be espoused, solidifying the emperor's hold over the realm (i.e. we got the first Ethiopian National Idea after taking the third Religious Idea).

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In order to further secure our position, the emperor decided to target some easy prey - Adal and their allies in Marehan. The war was short and without much incident. Marehan was seized, as was much of Adal's remaining territory. The Sultan was left holding court in a small fishing village in Tajura.

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Much to the emperor's amusement, another great warrior emerged from the common masses to prove his martial capability. Clearly our new training regimes had been working. Amda Seyon Bayisa was particularly adept at siege warfare, which was surely welcome.

Our generals soon had plenty of work, as they were dispatched to put down a Makurian rebellion in northern Alodia. Last thing the emperor wanted to have to waste time and blood reconquering that territory. The rebels were easily crushed - hopefully the Alodians would be able to better manage their conquests in future.

Our returning troops brought news with them. Georgiou Dotawo of Alodia had died, leaving his son Georgiou II on the throne. The emperor quickly arranged for the new king to be married to a Solomonid consort. For many years the Alodian succession would lead to the kingdom being inherited by Ethiopia, but eventually a Dotawo heir would be born. The two realms would remain independent.

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The people of Marehan had been converted to Christianity, but remained independent minded (I hadn't cored the province). The emperor chose to make a deal with the head of a local noble house, Umar Dubé. He would be given leave to rule over Marehan as he saw fit, on the condition that he convert. Though angered by this demand, Dubé agreed. The emperor's reasoning behind this decision was simple - as a noble family of Marehan, House Dubé had a valid claim over all of those territories that had been seized by Ajuuraan. And though it would mean turning on our allies in Warsangali, the emperor intendended to bring all of the Marhehan provinces into the empire.

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The combined forces of Ajuuraan and its allies outnumbered our own, but only those of Mogadishu, Ajuuraan's vassal-city, were as well trained and disciplined as our own. In particular, the tribal spearmen of Malindi would pose little challenge. In addition, Itege Hagos had arranged for a trio of Italian mortar weapons to be smuggled through the Mamluk's lands as a surpise gift for her husband. While of limited use on the battlefield, these new weapons would greatly assist in the taking of the enemy's fortifications.

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The Warsangali army fled before us, hoping to link up with the forces of Ajuuraan before facing us. They failed. Our army caught them in Qardho and routed them before their allies could join them. Ajuuraan's army was defeated in turn, giving us free reign to range across the Horn of Africa.

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By the time the enemy had regouped and marched north again, almost all of Warsangali was under occupation, including the capital. Our armies set about driving the enemy south again, giving General Bayisa time to capture the port city of Zeila. With its fall, Warsangali was knocked out of the war, surrendering Zeila to Ethiopia and Bosaso to Marehan. We then moved south in force.

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The enemy seemed to recognise that they stood no chance against us, for they chose to hide south of Mogadishu rather than contest our occupation of the north. Meanwhile, the nobles of the Dawaro mountains decided to take advantage of this opportunity to extend their holdings into the Ogaden territory. With the military of Ajuuraan in no position to threaten them, they established a number of small outposts along the Shebelle river. Traders and settlers followed (I took the first Exploration Idea and having no where better to send my first colonist, I decided to grab Ogaden).

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Our forces eventually made their way to Ajuuraan's capital, inflicting yet more defeats upon their forces along the way. With the fall of the city, the emperor was able to dictate terms. The Imams were forced to debase themselves before the emperor, acknowledging his superiority and admitting their folly in daring to challenge him. Their northern territories were given over to Marehan. They would have to end their treaties with Malinidi and Warsangali. And they would be forced to pay war reparations to Ethiopia. Ajuuraan had been comprehensively broken - it would take them years to recover from this conflict.

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While the emperor awaited the return of his troops, he welcomed an embassy from the Portuguese. He was pleased to begin a cultural exchange, learning more of the northern Christian kingdoms. But a matter closer to home required most of his attention. While our forces had been conquering the Horn of Africa, another conflict had broken out to the north. The Mamluks were yet again facing the superior forces of the Ottoman Turks and much of their territory was already under occupation. Ethiopia had a second chance to strike northward.
 
Last edited:

Tom D.

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(I took the first Exploration Idea and having no where better to send my first colonist, I decided to grab Ogaden).
The Ethiopian Empire is prospering, good job. What are your plans regarding exploration? Going west to conquer western Africa or going to India/East-Indies?
 

macd21

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The Ethiopian Empire is prospering, good job. What are your plans regarding exploration? Going west to conquer western Africa or going to India/East-Indies?

Going to colonise the Cape first, to beat the Europeans to it, then look east.
 

Cragspyder

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Great AAR!

If you're going to Cape, you need to try and explore at least one province in South America before 1500. That way, if you get lucky you might spawn Colonialism!

If someone else gets it, you should at leasr create a minimum-sized Colonial Nation in South America before going east, as this will give you Colonialism spread even without being next to someone else who has it.
 

macd21

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Chapter 4: Fall of the Mamluks

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Egypt was on the verge of falling to the Turks and their Tunisian allies. Seeing another opportunity, the emperor rushed his troops north again (there was also the slight matter of a band of separatists to deal with, but they're hardly worth mentioning).

While our troops marched to war yet again, an expedition led by the explorer Susemyos Eyob departed from a small port on the Red Sea. Their goal was to explore the Indian Ocean and to discover new lands that we might spread the word of God to.

As our forces gathered in the Nile Valley, Alodia moved to occupy the last remaining territories of the Makurians. Thankfully they felt confident in their ability to deal with the matter themselves and did not require our assistance.

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Though the Mamluks were being overwheled by the Ottomans, they did have an army in the field capable of threatening our forces. They were also allied with Yemen, who could threaten our western flank. Thankfully our alliance with Oman provided us with a counter to the Yemeni problem. This would free up our troops to occupy Egypt.

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The Mamluk army had survived by avoiding combat with the Turks, instead concentrating on the Tunisians in an effort to force them to make peace. By the time they made it back to Egypt, most of their provinces had fallen. Our armies awaited their return.

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Meanwhile the Alodians completed their conquest of Makuria. Qasr Ibrim was back in Coptic hand once more!

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While our forces prepared to deliver the final blow to the Mamluk army, the Tunisians made peace with them. The Ottomans were the primary beneficiaries of the peace agreement, pushing their borders ever further south.

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The Mamluk's last desperate effort to turn back our forces was decided at the battle of Alexandria. Any hope they may have had of victory was dashed by the arrival of the Alodians, who had agreed to join the invasion upon the conquest of Makuria.

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Surrender came soon after. Cairo had fallen to the empire. The emperor considered taking more lands, but was wary - the Sultanates of Arabia were growing uneasy at our unchecked growth and threatened to form a coalition against us. Though Alexandria called out to us, the emperor chose to be satisfied with the conquest of the Mamluk capital.

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And with that, the great Negusa Nagast Yara Yakob Solominid passed. Our new ruler was... competent.

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In the wake of the war, Egypt was torn apart as the peasants rose up, angered by their rulers' inability to stave off invaders. Things really weren't going well for the Mamluks.

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It took some time before a marriage could be arranged for Negusa Giyorgis. Itege Abeda of the House Sabraid was certainly a capable woman. A pity the new heir seemed less than impressive...

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The emperor would then take a decision with great ramifications for the empire - to move the capital from the sprawl of Gondar to the peaceful mountainous province of Shewa. Debre Berhan was far from the hustle and grandeur of the old capital, but Negusa Giyorgis was insistent on the change.

In other developments, Qasr Ibrim had finally been secured by the Alodians and the Muslims of the surrounding territories convinced to follow the Coptic faith. This great Christian city had long survived amidst the heathens of Nubia. Their example came to inspire the faithful of Ethiopia, who began to espouse a belief in the empire's rights to all territories once held by Christianity, now under the shadow of other religions (took the 'Promote Territorial Rights' blessing, for -10% core creation cost).

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Negusa Giyorgis was fascinated by the tales brought back by Susemyos Eyob and his men. They had explored much of the Indian Ocean, rounding the Cape of Africa, visiting the cities of India and the Spice Islands of the Far East. But while Negusa Giyorgis was keen to support new settlement efforts across the seas, Ethiopia was but a novice in the colonisation game. The Christians of Europe were embracing colonialism with enthusiasm, whereas the empire had yet to so much as discover the 'New World.'

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There was an interesting devlopment to the west, where the tribes of Funj had unified under a single ruler. They remained far too weak to threaten the empire, of course, but at some point the emperor would have to develop a policy to deal with them - either as a friend or a foe.

Meanwhlie, the last of Adal's holdings was seized, finally bringing the Sultanate to an end. We now had easy access to the Arabian peninsula, which could come in useful. But first, the empire had another target in mind...

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The Mamluks had but one ally - Funj. Which nicely answered the question of the empire's relations with our new neighbour. After some consideration, Negusa Giyorgis decided to let Alodia take those lands. As before, a stronger Alodia was to our benefit, and Ethiopia had little interest in expansion to the west.

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The Mamluks were in the midst of yet another civil war as our troops crossed the border. This time it was a noble uprising. It mattered not. Our forces engaged the royalist army in Gharbeyya, driving them south. The royalists then engaged the rebels, who destroyed them. While the two factions fought each other, our troops proceeded to occupy the north of the country.

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The rebel army did catch us by surprise at Dumyat, but by then it was too late. Funj surrendered half of its territory to Alodia and the Mamluks capitulated soon afterwards.

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Alexandria was ours. The emperor considered taking yet more territory from the enemy, but was again concerned by the prospect of an Islamic Coalition rising up and striking us down. In any case...

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...Ethiopia was now recognised as one of the Great Powers. We had cast down our northern rival and reached the Mediterranean. A new era had begun for the empire, as we explored the far shores of the globe and established embassies amongst the Christian realms of Europe.

Alexandria was soon converted. The liberation of the city would inspire a tradition of zealous enthusiasm in our troops ("Will of the Martyrs" blessing, +2.5% discipline). They would soon find an opportunity to prove themselves, as our Omani allies called upon us to aid them in their conquest of Yemen.

As our troops crossed the Red Sea into Arabia, the Mamluks found themselves at war yet again. The Turks finished their conquest of the Holy Land pushed into Egypt...

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...until they were upon our doorstep. The Ottomans had arrived.
 

Tom D.

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I didn't know Ethiopia had westernlike cities... Congratulations on your conquest of Alexandria and Egypt, but we'll see how high the price will be by bordering the Ottomans.
 

macd21

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Great AAR!

If you're going to Cape, you need to try and explore at least one province in South America before 1500. That way, if you get lucky you might spawn Colonialism!

If someone else gets it, you should at leasr create a minimum-sized Colonial Nation in South America before going east, as this will give you Colonialism spread even without being next to someone else who has it.

Unfortunately setting up a colony in the NW before 1500 wasn't really possible (I couldn't even reach the cape at that point). Might have been viable if I'd picked Exploration as my first idea group.

As for setting up a colonial nation in the NW, probably what I should have done, but, well, I'll let you see what I ended up doing in Ch 5.

I didn't know Ethiopia had westernlike cities... Congratulations on your conquest of Alexandria and Egypt, but we'll see how high the price will be by bordering the Ottomans.

Probably should have been more aggressive and taken more land from the Mamluks before the Ottos got it. Like I said, I was worried about a coalition forming, but it probably would have been worth the risk.
 

stnylan

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Great to see Alexandria returned to Coptic rule. Just before the Ottomans!

Looks like East Africa is your oyster.
 

macd21

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Chapter 5: Broader Horizons

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With the fall of the Mamluks, Ethiopia now stood above the other realms in the region. The only nearby power that could threaten us was the Ottoman Empire - our new rivals.

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An effort to find a more powerful ally to counter the Turks led to an ill advised alliance with the Timurids. We were almost instantly called upon to help them defeat their enemies in Qara Qoyunlu. While the emperor considered refusing their request, he ultimately decided to send an expeditionary force to the front, tasked with occupying the Coptic provinces in the north. He hoped that they might secure a separate peace with the enemy, in exchange for the independence of the Armenians. Unfortunately the shortage of Ethiopian transports delayed our deployment until the war was almost won. The Timurids secured their victory without our assistance.

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As our forces returned home, the emperor reconsidered his options. The war with Qara Qoyunlu had allowed the our generals to witness the Timurids waging war - and they were not impressed. In a conflict with the Ottomans, the Timurid forces would prove next to useless - and that was assuming they even managed to avoid being defeated by some lesser foe, whether foreign or domestic. We would need more powerful allies. Another exploratory expedition, led by Captain Marqos Dereje, had visited the ports of the Mediterranean, making contact with the kingdoms and republics of Christendom. This presented us with new potential allies against the Turks.

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Our embassy to Castile was made very welcome. Fellow enemies of the Ottomans, the Iberians were more than happy to agree to an alliance. Negusa Nagast Giyorgis hoped that this would deter Turkish aggression until we were in a better position to challenge them. The Timurid alliance was dissolved and indeed we now counted our former allies as rivals.

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The establishment of the new capital in Shewa had resulted in a great movement of peoples to the mountainous region. Despite the high altitude, desolate terrain and isolation of the province, a new city had established itself around the emperor's court. Debre Berhan was the centre of Ethiopia's colonialist movement, as the emperor's advisers pushed him to begin establishing new settlements across the seas. Small colonies had been established on an island in the Indian Ocean and just south of Mutapa, while an expedition had been sent to the southern tip of the continent in the hope of building an outpost there, but Ethiopia was still far from calling itself a colonial power at this time. Word had reached us that the western realms of Christendom had established numerous settlements on a continent beyond the Atlantic and even upon the west coast of Africa. The emperor feared they might soon send settlers around the Cape, to compete with his own relatively paltry efforts to settle the shores of the Indian ocean.

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With the threat of the Ottomans looming to the north, Negusa Nagast Giyorgis decided to further secure our holdings to the south. He hoped that the wealth and manpower of the region might eventually contribute to shielding the empire from the Turks, but for now he would be content with crushing Ajuuraan yet again. Pressure was applied to Warsangali so that the Sultan agreed to end his alliance with the Imamate, leaving us with one less enemy to deal with.

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While our troops overran the Muslim defenders, word reached us that the expedition to the Cape had been successful. A small colony had been established and the surrounding territory mapped. This rich region was ripe for exploitation - now we just had to insure that it came under our control and not that of the Europeans.

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Resistance in Ajuuraan finally collapsed, allowing the emperor to seize yet more territory from them. Much of this was given to Marehan to administer, with Beledweyne remaining under direct Ethiopian control. Almost exactly a year later, our Omani allies called upon them to assist with the invasion of Yemen. Though the emperor agreed, our forces played little part in the conflict, for the emperor realised we would gain little from it. Outnumbered and without allies, Yemen soon fell, and was split between Oman and Hejaz.

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In 1523 our armies prepared to go to war once more. The increasing wealth of the empire allowed our forces to greatly improve their equipment. Our cavalry now rode into battle with both noble and horse in heavy armour. Meanwhile our old, primitive artillery weapons were replaced with newer guns, known as culverin.

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As it happened, however, our forces found little opportunity to use their new equipment in their next war. The Mamluk army was surprised at Asyut and finding itself outnumbered over ten to one, simply surrendered. The culverin were put to use shelling the Sultan's 'fortress' (little more than a small palace with a walled garden), while the rest of our troops moved to occupy the rest of Egypt.

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The occupation of the Mamluks was almost complete when the emperor passed away. Salomon the third would now rule our great nation. His younger brother Iyasu stood prepared to replace him should he fall. Negusa Negast Salomon was aware that many in his court felt that his brother would make a better emperor and worried that his position was not secure. In order to strengthen his position, he chose to personally lead his troops in battle - and indeed, he was a most capable general.

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Our victory over the Mamluks was complete - the Nile was ours. The Mamluks were left with little more than desert sands.

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Returning to the capital, the new emperor met with his advisers to discuss the state of the world beyond Ethiopia's borders. Much of the globe was still a mystery to our scholars, but we were coming to know the place of the great powers across the globe. The Ottomans dominated Anatolia and Greece and had a strong presence beyond the Black Sea. The Timurids had fallen in power, as Negusa Nagast Giyorgis had predicted - their Persian subjects had risen up and driven them from the south. Vijyanagar held sway in India, while in the Far East the powerful Ming were dominant. To the Northwest, Castile controlled much of the Western Mediterranean, but their French rival stood ready to pounce upon them at any opportunity. The Portuguese, meanwhile, had begun to colonise South America.

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The Mamluk's troubles were far from over, of course - Tunis soon launched yet another invasion and left them with just a small strip of territory in the south. Yet this was hardly comforting news, as Tunis was allied to the Ottomans. Our holdings in Egypt were pressed from both sides.

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Negusa Negast Salomon's reign was tragically cut short. Rumours that he was poisoned, as opposed to a tragic horse riding accident, were never proven. His brother took the throne without incident, while Salomon's son Tewoflos was named heir.

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One of Negusa Nagast Iyasu's first accomplishments was to finish a process that his brother had started some years before - the integration of Marehan into the empire. The Horn of Africa was now securely in our possession. We now had a substantial coastline and control of much of the trade going moving through the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

Unfortunately, the integration had an unforeseen side effect.

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The Turks were coming...