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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Char1es

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"THE LONE AND LEVEL SANDS"
- A Morrocan After Action Report [AAR]



PART I:
Chaos and Consent (1399 - 1465)
Chapter I - Brittle Amity (1399 - 1430)
Chapter II - The Berber Strife (1430 - 1433)
Chapter III - The Eastern Mare (1433 - 1450)
Chapter IV - Jahannam (1450 - 1465)

PART II: An Empire in the Desert (1465 - 1520)
Chapter I - The Winds of Tumult (1465 - 1475)
Chapter II - Saga of the Three Sultans (1475 - 1495)
Chapter III - Blood and Plenty (1495 - 1510)
Chapter IV - Ahmad's Empire (1510 - 1520)


CREATED BY:
Char1es - DIFFICULTY: Normal - GOALS: [Freeform]

PART I:
Chaos and Consent (1399 - 1460)
Chapter I -
Brittle Amity



Sultan Abu-Sa'id Uthman III, All-Powerful Sovereign of the Western Berbers, gazed out over the unending barrens of Fez, lands granted to him by the will of Allah. He stared eastwards, into Algiers, where Berbers of another name made home and settlement beneath the blessed sun, and saw lands vested to his iron grip from time immemorial. That noon, as darkness set, he called for an assembly of his generals at the Shining Palace. They arrived at Fez from lands afar - from the rolling sands of Sus and Ifni, from the glimmering coast of Toubkhal, from the fabulous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, and from the stretching plains of Atlas and Figuig.

And Abu-Sa'id Uthman III, of the House Marinid, conferred to his subordinates: "Good men of glorious Morocco, I have seen treasures aplenty to the east, in Algiers, for it is in that hallowed land that our national destiny lies. Our fate as Moslems is entwined with Tlemcen and Aures, places sought after, but never before conquered, by sultans and emirs of old.

"And so it is, from this day forward, that we seek providence in the plains and cities to the east. Our armies, one-million men strong, shall march upon sacred sands, ever-victorious, and Moroccans shall sing our names in hymns of triumph for generations to come. We shall unite as Berbers and Moslems, and ride free over Algiers and beyond!"

The minions and acolytes of Abu-Sa'id Uthman III, ever-loyal to their mighty Sultan, united beneath the holy banner of the Dynasty Marinid, and fashioned from immaterial an army of such size and ferocity that the hooves of its mounts could be heard echoing across the Saharan soils.



Word reached the Sultan's court in 1401 of tribes to the far east, beyond Algiers - Tunisians and Tripolitanians - whom were sympathetic to the Moroccans' God-given cause. The Sultan sent for seven of his daughters, the most beautiful and pure of Berber maidens, to be wedded to the hardy princes of these fine nations. These royal marriages were fruitful, sealing political allegiance between the states, and ensuring a united front against Algerian supremacy.



In 1405, the infidel scourge, foes of House Marinid, rose up in an attempt most pitiful to unseat the Sultan. To Toubkhal they went, armed with sword, spear and the will of a pretender, burning every serf-hut and commiting outrages unspeakable as they descended through the villages. Abu-Sa'id Uthman III, hearing of the atrocities, sent for his armies, and they rode gallantly, against the setting sun, to Toubkhal. The usupers were crushed.



In the immediate aftermath of the infidels' suppression, word reached the Sultan from his allies in Tunisia. A demagogue there challenged the primacy of the Tunisian throne, posing a credible threat to the Marinid's newfound influence in that sacred land. The 1st Army, stationed in Atlas, was sent to quell the uprising, bolstering the hearts and minds of the battle-worn Tunisian legions. Once again, they proved competent.



With the revolts in Tunis and Toubkhal suppressed, a long peace descended, known as the Twenty-Five Winter Concord. During this period of civil stability in Northern Africa, Abu-Sa'id Uthman III remained a fair and cunning ruler, continuing to oversee military reform and political furtherance - he was not tainted by age, or misled by the prevailing stillness, as so many have before him.

In 1411, a disease was discovered amongst the peasants of Melilla, a pestilence which manifested itself through symptoms unspeakable - vomitting, swelling, and eventual death. The Sultan called for doctors from far afield, although it was Christian surgeon who identified the illness as the "Black Death", which had so ravaged Europe over the previous two decades. Seeking to end the suffering of his people, Abu-Sa'id called specialist doctors to the bestricken city, and the outbreak was contained before it could spread elsewhere.

 
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Chapter II - The Berber Strife (1431 - 1433)



On the eve of the year 1431, a scholar known favourably to the Sultan's court, Mohammed al-Madein, came to Abu-Sa'id III with an intriguing and unexpected proposition. For some months, the advisor explained, he had been constructing a detailed chronicle of Berber history. Whilst researching for this tome, he had come across a set of dated documents, which seemed to indicate Morrocan political rights to Aures, an established province of Algiers. If genuine, this treatise would grant the Marinids sovereignity over the lands they had pursued with such enthusiasm for the latter thirty years.

When Abu-Sa'id III attempted to settle this matter diplomatically, Ahmad II of Algiers refused Morrocan demands for a rightful concession. Realising that he would now have to seize Aures by force, the Sultan called up his armies. Hostilities erupted at the start of the following year.



In a cowardly act, the Tripolitanians failed to honour their alliance with Morroco; thankfully, Tunisia proved ever-loyal, and engaged vigilantly on the eastern front. At Al-Djazair, Abu-Sa'id's forces won a heroic victory, devastating the Algerian ranks and setting the course for the coming conflict. Aures, the fruit of the troubles, fell to the Moroccans after a five-month siege.





In a final, ill-fated attempt to redeem themselves before Allah, the Algerians hailed for their allies, the Candari of Asia Minor, who, like a storm-cloud from the east, landed troops at Fez and Tlemcen, posing a bold challenge to Abu-Sa'id's men. They were crushed with as little mercy as was spared to the Algerian cowards.



Their armies decimated and further bloodshed set to follow, the Algerians were forced to accept a peace proposal in the winter of 1433, lacking the indomitable will to fight on. After three decades, Abu-Sa'id III of the sacred Dynasty Marinid had conquered Algiers!

 

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Chapter III - The Mare of the East



The collapse of Algiers simultaneously led to upheaval in the established North African order. Tripoli, a long-term ally of Morroco, had failed to honour their diplomatic commitments amidst the Berber Strife; as a result, Abu-Sa'id III saw rightful cause for a disciplinary conquest of the traitorous realm. This manifested itself as the Moroccan-Tripolitanian War, which broke out in 1433.



Prior to the outbreak of the war, a revolt in Tunisia had brought an usurper to the throne, the dynasty of whom was less sympathetic to the Morrocans. The Sultan was betrayed once again, this time by the Tunisians, whose armies failed to join the holy conquest against Tripolitania.



Despite the cowardice presented by their so-called allies, the Morrocans fought on valiantly, marching on Tripolitania with the gaul of Berber lions. So-called "soldiers" of the opposing armies quivered and broke before the invaders, who besieged their cities with furious pace.



Within just nine months, the traitorous state had fallen. Displaying the extent of his mercy, Abu-Sa'id III offered the Tripolitanian's continued governance of their nation-state, demanding only their hand in vassalisation. Every man, woman and child in the conquered territories was expected to owe unquestionable allegiance to Morroco and its sacred ambitions.




Two years passed, and victorious Morocco continued to prosper. The Sultan had not forgotten the treachery of the Tunisians, and he continued to view those people with ever-discerning eyes. Scouts and spies informed him of the degeneration of the lands to the east; Tunis, the capital, was swimming in glutton and decadence, it's nobles and kings apparently locked in spiteful worship of pagan deities. Abu-Sa'id saw it as his divine duty to civilize Tunisia.




In 1436, the Marinidic legions, blessed before Allah and accompanied by a humble Tripolitanian force, embarked on a conquest of Tunisia. The most significant of battles was pitched clash in Tripoli, where an invading Tunisian force was scattered by the allied armies.



The infidels of Tunis, clamouring for the will of their false idols, were able to withstand a siege for 408 bloody days, before the garrison finally gave way and surrendered to the superior Morrocan force. The pagans were not to be granted the same clemency spared for the Tripolitanians four years prior. Abu-Sa'id ordered for their cities to be seized, their people converted to the One True Faith, and pagan images burnt. Annexation was complete and total.

 

Avindian

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Fascinating idea! Moroccan AARs are usually quite rare; I'm anxious to see how you'll do.
 

Char1es

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Chapter IV - Jahannam
Two long decades had passed since Abu-Sa'id's great conquests, and the empire he had forged from sword and faith remained prosperous as ever.



In 1452, the ever-watchful Sultan offered to the Tripolitanian peoples incorporation into his fabulous empire, as Moslems. The kings and nobles of the city-state accepted this proposal with great enthusiasm, offering not only their hearts and lands to the Moroccans with no shortage of pleasure. Tripolitania was dully integrated into the kingdom.



No sooner had this fate-dictated transaction been made, that the subjects of the land once known as Tripolitania came forward, travelling from afar to the Sultan's court to give blessings and express their gratitude. One evening, a large band of men arrived by horseback at the palace. They proceeded to Abu-Sa'id's throne-room, and the leaders among them relayed to the king their predicament.

The men were halfbloods, the bastard-seeds of wedded union between Moroccan troops and the daughters of Tripoli. Regardless of the political harmony enjoyed by either nation, these halfbloods faced ostracism in their homeland, treated with ignorance and disregard by their peers. The Sultan was moved by their story; he immediately commissioned for the men present, alongside their brothers and sons, to be organized into a special military division, the Tripolitanian Guard. This brotherhood would oversee law and order in the Tripolitanian lands, and would also owe service to regular regiments whenever neccessary.



Despite the initial ceremony and optimism, however, there were assertion amongst Abu-Sa'id III's generals that the period of peace and good fortune experienced in his empire was coming to a natural, bloody closure. The Mamluks, a fierce race of warrior-folk, beckoned to the east from their cities of gold; with malicious intent, they had sealed a military alliance with the Algerians, Morocco's old adversary. War was all but inevitable.



Seizing the opportunity presented by civil unrest within the Mamluk Sultanate, Abu-Sa'id called up his forces in 1456, amassing large armies at his realm's borders. On their captains' orders, Moroccan soldiers crossed into Libya; on the spur of the moment, the Algerians mobilised in support of their brothers.





Algiers fought back with vehemence, but were quickly overwhelmed by the Sultan's well-drilled armies. Lacking sympathy for his old enemy, Abu-Sa'id III ordered for the sacking and annexation of the Algerian cities. Resistance was rendered futile.



The front against the Mamluks proved to be stonier, less principled. Although facing internal strife from all around - peasants in Judea, nationalists in East Africa, and a large-scale particularist revolt just a few days' ride from Cairo -, the Mamluks were able to raise a formidable force from volunteers not already cowering before the Moroccans' wrath. A decisive battle ensued in the sands of Libya, where a Mamluk force of 9000, rallied in the south, engaged the Moroccan jihadists. The attempt was bold, but ultimately fruitless.



As the invaders progressed eastwards, they made contact with the Syrians, a nation of similar disposition towards the Mamluks. The Sultan was excited as to these new developments; he arranged for a diplomat to forge militant brotherhood with these good folk.



Before he could personally reap the fruits of this new alliance, the Sultan fell victim to a foreign affliction. Within two days, he was dead. After 61 winters on the throne of Morocco, during which he had fashioned an empire from the ashes of former glory, Abu-Sa'id III of the House Marinid, was dead. The mourning period seemed to last countless ages, as subjects united in lamentation for their mighty ruler, but, once the tears had settled, a new leader was proclaimed in 'al-Walid I, Abu's sole male progenitor.



al-Walid, it transpired, was as competent a commander as his forebear. Within two years, the young king had devastated the Mamluk hordes, and claimed precious territory in Egypt for the dominion his father had forged with such passion.



After a bloody six-season war, the Marinids were victorious once again!

 

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Have the Iberians not intervened at all in Africa? I find that hard to believe.
Actually, I've progressed without bother from the Europeans. Castille's gone to the pan (with all the Spanish statelets declaring independence, etc.). Portugal did declare war on me, though it's been reduced to an insignificant little kingdom as a result of Venice / Castille's meddling, and there were no skirmishes whatsoever. I guess I've been lucky. :)
Wow.
A great update, and a great day for Morocco indeed! :)
Perhaps you should try and reverse the Reconquista if you're so powerful to be able to humble the Mamluks so much?
Once I have a proper navy, that will be the logical step forward.
 
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KotoR45

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Allahu Ackbar! It seems that Morocco is blessed by God in this AAR. I'd love to see what you do next. Perhaps the next Caliphate? ;) Subbed.
 

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PART II: An Empire in the Desert (1465 - 1520)
Chapter I -
The Winds of Tumult

The initial years of al-Walid's reign were characterised civil strife, as various factions attempted to take advantage of the Sultan's good will and inexperience. Instability, intrigue and corruption reigned throughout the Moslem realms.




In 1476, there was a large uprising amongst the serfdom of Melilla, a prosperous city in the north-east of Morocco. After the local garrison succumbed and were cruelly massacred by the tempered peasants, the Tripolitanian Guard were called in to crush the revolt, and a bloody skirmish ensued.



The Melilla uprising, although defeated, had apalling repercussions for the Moroccan people. Similar rebellions followed in cities and provinces throughout the empire, and the result was a perpetual state of anarchy. Starvation and poverty were the norm of the day.

In light of this, al-Walid made the decision to pursue territorial gains in the wilderness of the Berber realms, hoping to reverse the kingdom's fortunes through economic revitalisation. Iberian adventurers, surveying the lands south of Ifni, returned bearing news of a fertile place to the south-west, which they proclaimed 'Rio de Oro'. The intrigued Sultan sent colonists to investigate.




Under official decree, the new land was designated as 'al-Nus'. Traders poured in, and found there a prosperous market in slaves, heavily demanded in Europe as well as amongst the Moroccan aristrocracy.





In 1473, two years after the colonisation of al-Nus, a child of health and vigour was born to the Sultan; he was named Ahmad, and initiated as heir to the throne. The Marinid succession was safe!


 
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Chapter II - Saga of the Three Sultans

In 1476, disturbing news reached the already much-beleaguered court of Sultan al-Walid. Morocco's allies in Syria had been dragged into a war with the Mamluks, over a complex territorial dispute in East Africa. There was some hesitation, as numerous advisors furiously debated as whether to enter this heated conflict, but the Sultan, a man of true piety, made the final decision to rally his troops. This time, the Mamluks' incompetency was to be punished harshly.




Syria and her superior were, for the due course of this engagement, set to walk in fellowship with the armies of various other kingdoms - the Yemenis, Ethiopians, Adalans and Omanis had sought to address their good cause. A bloodbath was inevitable; the eventual victor, less so. Guided by Allah, the Moroccans marched to battle.





As well as ceding some of its southern provinces to Sacred Morocco, the Mamluks were ordered to grant freedom to the dark-skinned Moslems of Suakin, subjected to repression most foul by their former overlords. al-Walid made it his immediate priority to seek kinship and conciliation with the resulting kingdom of Funj.



With the Mamlukan Sultanate in ever-constant decline, al-Walid saw it as his duty to found a new political order in West Asia. In 1481, as prosperity returned to Morocco, he had himself crowned 'Padishah', emperor of Moslems far and wide!



The prime of the good Sultan's rule, however, was set to soon culminate. Just two years after his proclamation as Padishah, an infernal disease unexpectedly struck down al-Walid. His eight year-old son, Ahmad, was an energetic and inquisitive young man indeed, but not ready to rule such a magnificent empire at his tender age. Therefore, a regency was established, with al-Walid's nephew, a native Tripolitanian by the name of Ramin, temporarily seizing the throne. He administered with the oversight of a noble council.



The regency passed without much event, Ramin proving a capable sultan. Finally, in 1491, Ahmad I was inaugarated as the second Padishah. The proceedings were accompanied by a fortnight of jubilation and fanfare, in support of the young king.



Perhaps usurping the perceived lethargy of the situation, the Mamluks once again attempted to assert themselves in East Africa, springing an attack against the people of Funj. Morocco and its acquainted kingdoms were, once again, forced to take up arms.







The cost was high for all combatants; Padishah Ahmad, outraged at the Mamluks' hostility, demanded a high price of the invaders. With true Marinidic ingenuity, vast gains were nurtured from the seeds of victory.

 

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Is there going to be an event that changes your nation name? Because your starting to outgrown the simple name of Morocco....
 

unmerged(271387)

Field Marshal
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You should try and split castille,with getting south iberia(yes iberia,meaning portugal too).
 

Char1es

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This is a bit late, but I'd like to congratulate you on winning the Weekly AAR Showcase!
Head over to the thread to greet your fans!
Boy, am I proud of you people. :D

@videofan - A revolutionary Granada's already bulldozed Iberia, and we're on good terms. I'll stick with Asia for the mean time.

Further updates coming very soon.