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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Abe_Archer

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The Trouble in the East



The majestic eastern mountains behind the majestic eastern Cossack


Cheerio good chaps,

Isn’t this a smashing turn of events? My good colleague and friend, Dr. Krochanski, has recently fallen ill. He has the sickness of traveler's laugh, a horrendous affliction where university paid mafia thugs force you into taxicabs into the middle of the night, lob you into one of those giant metallic birds and fly you off to God forsaken and uncivilized countries. What I mean to say by "traveler's laugh" is that he's laughing at us.Well anyway, due to this happening where he goes off to drink European wine whilst I whine here, he has asked the fool, also known as moi, who has been left behind to write an entry for this marvelous little paper. Well, being a PhD. in geometry I was a little wary at first, the borders of kings and khans never looking like those of a proper kite or a cube! All that mish-mash about, you see? Well, I was thinking to decline at first, but the fact that it was a story about some eastern thing caught my attention. I have a particular fetish for the east, you see, as a child I’d dressed up like some dastardly warlord from a movie like “Terror from the East” or “Romanov the Impaler”, and have a go at the other chappies by swinging my wooden rod at them. I hoped that the emotions of this exhilarating act in which I’d clobber the rascals would come back to me. And besides, you learn a lot from reading history such as which king killed which king, or which witch killed the witch-king, or even the number of ladies Genghis Khan…

Well anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. How about I just present the story to you, perhaps in proper fashion and who knows? Well, here’s the story of Qasim’s Band in the Early days of…

A Shattered Europe
1​

You know those days where you get a runny nose? Well imagine a really bad runny nose and I mean really bad with mucus, pus, blood, all gushing out of that orifice! Well, then I’m sure you imagined the next step, you know the one after you're writhing on the floor in agony for the last two hours, that one! The one where you’ve left this mortal coil.

You know? You’ve kicked the bucket, you’ve unceremoniously jumped off the corporate ladder into a highway full of blind NASCAR drivers, you’re gone, kaput, deceased, expired!

Well, imagine that, but multiply that by seven. Sod that! Multiply it by six.

Can you see it now? Thousands and thousands of people were liquidated. And i don’t mean the kind of liquidation women look over at that boutique and go crazy over. I mean the kicking the bucket kind, a sort of party of the grave.



Grave Party!​

I really hope you’re catching these euphemisms, they’re so tiring to write. Do you know what’s also tiring! Living in 1399, living in the cesspits you called home when your only possessions consisted of a mud hut and a three legged cow. Here’s a passage from one of Mr. Krochanski’s works

“Europe at that point was mostly devoid of human life. Those who had survived the onslaught of disease holed themselves up in their homes. Most humans lived many miles for fear of contagion that had ravaged Christendom during the early 14th century. In fact many scholars agree that only the modern wars of this century have come to take more of a toll in human life then of that (runny nose) disease. It was not until the later part of that century that man was no longer fearful of the proximity man and thus began the rebuilding of the old European empires, albeit under different management.”
Thomas Krochanski, A History of the New Europe

I hope you like my little runny nose addition there, I think its proper given our previous academic thought experiment. If only scholars would agree to call it that. Now wouldn’t that be smashing!

Disease, pestilence, violence, war! It’s a wonder man has survived at all! The horrors of the runny nose disease had shattered the European folk. Nations crumbled like stacks of frozen potatoes unceremoniously shattered by a rocket launcher, strafed by seven fighter-bombers, then driven over by a legion of twenty-six tanks for good measure. Luckily the crumbs would survive and they would plant on the ground to become great seeds for future use.

One such potato seed crumb, though their growth was questionable for many reasons, was Qasim’s Band. I’m sure you’d like to know about them, but you’ll have to buy the next issue. Mwahahaha.



See that little red speck to the right?​
 
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Abe_Archer

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Cheerio good chaps,

The last time I wrote for this charming paper I talked a lot about the disease that shattered the European folk and put them into hiding. However, I understand how one can be a bit confused at how a singular state which seemed so stable can at a quick turn dissolve more rapidly than a couple of mentos in a can of Coca-Cola. Since this is an analysis of Qasim’s Band and Khan Qasim’s little escapades during the 14th century I’d thought it would be beneficial to have this issue talk about their origins starting with...

The Fall of the Golden Horde
2


At the beginning of the 14th century the Golden Horde was really at its zenith. Uzbeg controlled one of the greatest land empires with an army of thugs ready to punt out anyone who thought he was too big for his breeches. Khan Uzbeg had really consolidated his power in the realm, banishing for the very first time all other religion in the Golden horde, among his many other accomplishments. He had adopted Islam, but this would create some resentment among the more traditionalist Mongols who still followed Tengriism, the religion of Genghis Khan. A decision that would come to bite his successors in the future like dog’s teeth in the posterior.


Uzbeg sits in style as he makes Mikhail of Tver stand up.​

Time passed and eventually Uzbeg and the golden era of the Golden Horde was stolen, probably by a thief in search of gold. It was not until 1346, during the reign of Uzbeg’s grandson Jani Beg that things started to get a little rummy. The runny nose disease came like a prophetic punishment and all of the Golden Horde was soon sent into turmoil. The disease was so turbulent that even these horse riding nomads were not exempt from it, especially the side that bordered Europe, and so half their empire soon began to crumble like an ancient Roman fort which could not be kept by their successors.

Jani Beg, of course, tried to sew the tear on the western half of his empire. He immediately stopped trading with Europe, tried to get the western people to adopt the old nomadic ways, and many more decrees to try and stop the disease from giving his empire a good KO. Despite these efforts all was not quite so calm in his empire.

A young man by the name of Olog Genghisid, a descendant from the Mongolian warlord Genghis Khan, was to lead a Tengri faction bent on restoring Tengriism to the ruling class of the Golden Horde. These men staged a coup and came upon Jani Beg with many knives in which Jani is famously quoted saying,

“Et tu, Genghisid?”


Jani Beg begs for his life.​

Which Olog simply replied with the end of his knife. Anyway, there was no clear successor for the throne of the Golden Horde and a period of violence, death and destruction known simply as the 1347, began. Many successors decided it was high time they went on the throne and each Khan was lobbed off in quick succession. The next thirty years saw the rule of over eighty-seven different khans and crackpots.


Even with all these successors no order was really kept, the western edge of the Golden Horde let in more Europeans, resulting in their near annihilation, Crimea decided it was high time to take over large portions of the Horde, and the followers of Genghisid raided as much land as they could get their hands on.

Anyway, Olog’s private raiding habits are of no concern to us except that in the year 1374 was born a very peculiar child. Accounts tell that thunder rumbled that night, sounding as if the souls of a thousand horsemen were riding over the steppes. And great comets passed over the sky, sending people into a frenzy of killing*. Blood was spilt that night and his mother proclaimed with piercing eyes and prophetic voice that he would be the spiller of blood and would herald a new age.


I predict that there’s gonna be a war in the next two hundred years, so panic people!​

Would Genghis’ legacy continue in this little runt barely able to play a good game of Texas hold-em? Would he be the herald of some new age? As a conqueror? As a prophet?

Who knows?

I do, so buy the next darn issue!



Notes:
*As most comets do
 
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