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Bballman23

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Yeah, this is a very good read. Interesting that so many wars involving superpowers broke out at once (Fatimids, you, Byz, HRE, and Hungary). Hopefully you don't all wear each other down and leave no one left to fight the Hordes.
 

Gedierond

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I like this; subbed. :)

Thanks! I´m glad you like it!

A very nicely written AAR :) I like the idea of upcoming Tatar invasion - wonder if it will be as epic, as your khans' visions predict. And good job on the Byzantines.

BTW, I like the dating system - are you using some kind of on-line date converter?

Thank you! Yeah, I hope the invasion is as epic as I pictured it, otherwise the ending of the AAR will be kind of lame... :p
Yes, I´m using an online converter: http://www.islamicfinder.org/Hcal/index.php

Yeah, this is a very good read. Interesting that so many wars involving superpowers broke out at once (Fatimids, you, Byz, HRE, and Hungary). Hopefully you don't all wear each other down and leave no one left to fight the Hordes.

Thanks! Yeah, when the Jihad announcement popped up I was like: "Wow, huge wars ahead!". My war with the Byzantines did leave me quite levy-depleted, but it should be like 40 years until the Il-khanate arrives, and even more until the Golden Horde comes... I have time (hope I can make it count!).

I´ll try to post my next update later today. It´ll be a lot calmer than these last ones... the war with the Byzantines sure was a tough one!
 

Gedierond

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22nd of Ramadhaan of the year 560 from the Hijra (August 1st, 1165 A.D.)

A year has passed since our glorious victory over the Roman Empire, and I am glad to say that it has been a much calmer year than the last one. I have spent these months working for my realm´s recovery from the war great war that we joined almost 4 years ago, already. It will take time for Volga-Bulgaria to regain its full might, but it will eventually, and it will be even stronger than before, as its holdings are being improved constantly now that the realm´s income can be destined to land development instead of war.

As I wait for my armies to regain their strength, I keep a close eye to what transpires outside my country. The Shi´a Jihad for Sicily still rages on, apparently in a temporary stalemate. However, I fear the combined forces of the Christian Kingdoms will prove to be too much for the Fatimid Sultan.
When I returned to Bulgar, I learned from my spies´ reports that Hungary had been inherited by King András II´ grandson, Zsolt I. However, he was murdered shortly after being crowned... he did not rule even a whole month. After Zsolt´s death, his sister was crowned Queen Luca I, and she is currently leading the Hungarians during the Jihad. I had hoped that two successions in such a short notice might bring some turmoil to Hungary, but apparently the cause of fighting the Shi´a invaders has kept the Kingdom together.

As I suspected, the Duke of Volhynia did not surrender as quickly as my vassal Duke of Hlynov expected. But he did eventually yield, and by the month of Raby` al-Thaany the lands of Bjarmia were part of my realm. These lands are not particularly rich, but they are a way to reach the northern seas, and that makes them a valuable asset to my Khanagate.

HlynovganBjarmia.jpg

The Duke of Hlynov obtained his victory

I plan to continue improving my demesne during the next months. Allah willing, peace will not be disrupted during these times.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

20th of Ramadhaan of the year 561 from the Hijra (July 20th, 1166 A.D.)

Another peaceful year has passed. There has not been any conflict for Volga-Bulgaria other than some peasant uprisings which were swiftly crushed. My realm has a very diverse population, with mainly Cuman, Komi and Russian people under a same rule. Also, many different religions can be found within our borders: Sunni, Orthodox Christian, Suomenusko and Tengri. This diversity makes keeping the peasant population appeased difficult. However, they do not pose any risk to my rule and end up being simple annoyances.

However, as peaceful as this last year has been for my country, it has not been so for me. New visions have plagued my dreams lately, showing me what will happen should my descendants fail to stop the invading barbarians. Our people will suffer in a way beyond description... the killing, pillaging and looting these invaders will bring is too much for me to bear.

Asedio2.jpg

Does this fate really await my country?

I have also seen the banner which they will carry to battle. I hope that the realm is ready for when this accursed flag arrives from the east.

GHbanner.gif

People will learn to hate this sigil, I have no doubt about it

To distract myself from these nightmares, I have focused in my son´s education. Törtogul is 9 years old already, and his upbringing is coming up nicely. He already has learned the importance of being a kind leader and how taking all things in moderation helps a good administration. The poor boy has sttutered since he learned to speak, but I am confident that he will turn up to be a great man. I would very much get to see him become an adult to make him my heir, as I feel he would be a much better ruler than my eldest son Sugr.

Trtogul9aos.jpg

My son Törtogul makes me proud

However, I have turned 60 years old six months ago. I already feel my advanced age, as much of my strength has left me. I am beginning to doubt that I will live to see Törtogul come of age... As I mentioned in one of my previous entries, the war with the Romans has taken its toll on me, particularly on my health. Perhaps, as these peaceful times carry on, I will find my strength coming back to me.
 

Gedierond

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5th of Jumaada al-awal of the year 562 from the Hijra (February 27th, 1167 A.D.)

Conflict once again looms upon my realm. The traitorous Duke Borç I of Rostov has refused to hand over his Duke title after I requested it, and has risen in arms against me! My Chancellor had already informed me about his doubts regarding the Duke´s loyalty, so I revoked Borç´s Duchy to put it to trial. His reply confirmed my good Chancellor´s suspicions.

RebelinBor.jpg

How ironic that I share my name with this traitor

As satisfactory his bravado might be for him, he has no chance to pose any risk for my realm without allies. I will march with my armies nonetheless. I must make an example of this traitor, and I must do it myself... I can not delegate this task to anybody.
My councilors and my family advise me not to march to Rostov with the soldiers. They tell me it would be better for me to stay in Bulgar, as the journey to Rostov may be too exhausting for me. Sugr has offered to lead the army in my stead. I must admit that my health has quickly declined during these last months, and I am finding some difficulties in walking right... not to mention riding.
They will not convince to stay. I must appear still strong to my vassals´ eyes, otherwise their respect for me would be in danger. However, I will let Sugr come with me... I know he will feel better that way.
We leave tomorrow for the traitor´s lands, and I expect my next entry to be a victorious one.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

20th of Jumaada al-awal of the year 562 from the Hijra (March 14th, 1167 A.D.)

I am Khan Sugr I of Volga-Bulgaria. As my father´s heir, I feel it is my duty to write in his journal that Khan Borç I "the Wise" of Volga-Bulgaria, Caliph of the Sunni faith, has passed away today. He died a peaceful death during his sleep on the way to deal with the traitorous Duke of Rostov. He will be honored on my return to Bulgar.

MuereBorI.jpg
 

Jedrek

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We'll... I had several rulers who died in battle, one who died due to "Maimed" trait several weeks after the battle, but this is the first time I see a ruler dying en route... Bad luck indeed... BTW, I'm wondering how will you model the power struggle between Sugr and Tortogul... Unless you plan killing him off before he grasps the saber ;)
 

Kanin_Usagi

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Wow. I like how this is proceeding. The whole idea to start the AAR midway into the game is a very interesting one. And I like the idea of the upcoming succession crisis when Sugr finds he was not favored in his father's eyes!
 

Gedierond

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We'll... I had several rulers who died in battle, one who died due to "Maimed" trait several weeks after the battle, but this is the first time I see a ruler dying en route... Bad luck indeed... BTW, I'm wondering how will you model the power struggle between Sugr and Tortogul... Unless you plan killing him off before he grasps the saber ;)

Yeah, it was quite unexpected! I mean, he was 61 already, I knew he could die any time, but it surprised me to see him die while going to battle.

Wow. I like how this is proceeding. The whole idea to start the AAR midway into the game is a very interesting one. And I like the idea of the upcoming succession crisis when Sugr finds he was not favored in his father's eyes!

Thanks! I´m glad you like it!

And to both of you interested in the upcoming succession crisis: Sugr will definitely resent both Törtogul and his father for not being the favored one, and that will lead to a quite cool twist in the story (IMO, at least!).

These last days were kinda complicated, so I couldn´t post another update. I hope to be able to do it soon!
 

Gedierond

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4th of Thw al-Hijjah of the year 562 from the Hijra (September 20th, 1167 A.D.)

I am Khan Sugr I of Volga-Bulgaria. I will fulfill my father´s wish, and follow his steps in writing down my doings in this journal. Not because I believe this nonsense about his so-called visions, but because I want my descendants to know of my rule and, hopefully, to learn from it.

As I write these pages, I am back at my castle in Bulgar, having returned from battling the traitorous Duke Borç I of Rostov just a few days ago. Here I am, back in my realm´s capital, a realm I know I was not meant to inherit...
But before delving in my thoughts about my inheritance, I will relate what has transpired since my father´s death.

The rebellion did not last long, as the traitor´s forces could not stand against the might of the Volga-Bulgarian army, and his holdings were taken swiftly after his soldiers were routed. Thus, in the month of Shawwal (August in the Christian calendar) Borç surrendered, was imprisoned, and had his Duke title revoked. Now a loyal vassal sits in his former throne, and my father´s justice upon him was finally delivered.

As I observed my armies laying siege to the castle of Rostov, a message arrived to the camp, informing that the Shi´a Jihad for Sicily had been called off after the Caliph had been taken prisoner by the infidel Roman Kaiser. Ill news indeed, as the war was keeping the Catholic rulers whose realms were closest to Volga-Bulgaria occupied.

TerminaJihadporSicilia.jpg

I had hoped the Jihad to continue for a long time

As a new Khan, I must earn the respect of my vassals and my courtiers. My father was loved by nearly all of his subjects, since he was gifted with admirable diplomatic skills, and his many victories against infidels were inspiring for many of his vassals. Regrettably, I am not near as good with words as my father was, and my former position as Duke of Perm does not impress my new vassals too much.

CaliphSugrI.jpg

Adressing to others is not my greatest strength

My father was wise enough to find me a wife with as good diplomatic skills as he himself possessed. When addressing foreign rulers, I can let my wife Daniyah and my Chancellor do most of the talking, but my vassals know better. Thus, my councilors advised me to follow some of my vassals closely, and perhaps send a few gifts to ensure the stability of the realm.

EsposaDaniyah.jpg

Daniyah may be old, but she is a great asset for my rule

I have a big family, but only a single possible heir. My son Girgen is my only male child among 7 children. He is only three years old, but I will make sure that he receives proper education when the time comes.

HijoGirgen.jpg

My one and only son, Girgen

In the last few days after my father´s funeral was held once I returned to Bulgar, I have been reading his writings in this journal. I am no imbecile, and I already knew that my half brother Törtogul was my father´s intended heir instead of me. In fact, the entire court knew it... it became obvious when my father decided to teach Törtogul himself how to rule. Nevertheless, reading about it from my father´s own hand is... disturbing, to say the least. I remember his words to me during the war with the Greeks, about how proud he was... hypocrite.
My half-brother is only ten years old just yet, but already my council warned me about the possibility that Törtogul might be seen by some nobles as the rightful heir to my Khanate when he comes of age. This, coupled with the fact that many in my court consider me not fit to rule due to my attributes, puts me in a tough position as a new ruler.

Never mind. I will prove to them that I am more than fit to rule. I will earn their respect as my father and my grandfather did before me. I will bring the hammer of Volga-Bulgaria´s forces to our surrounding enemies... that will show them.
As for my half brother Törtogul, we will see what happens when he becomes an adult, if there are people still favoring him instead of me. And then, I will deal with them as I see fit.
 
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Jedrek

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I think you reflected Sugr's personality very nicely. He seems to be very different to his father. :)
 

Gedierond

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27th of Raby` al-Thaany of the year 563 from the Hijra (February 9th, 1168 A.D.)

Six months have passed since my father´s funeral, and time had been passing calmly up until today. I have taken part in many battles, but never I had seen death coming so close to me as I did this evening.

As I mentioned, these last months had been peaceful. As my council suggested, my first moments as the new Khan were spent making sure my realm stays stable. That involved sending petty gifts to those vassals of mine who were more likely to be problematic for my rule, as well as rearranging some Duke titles.
Meanwhile, I continued to improve my demesne with new buildings. With my plans of invasion, I will need the biggest army I can possibly muster, and that requires investment from my part. Soon, my country will have recovered fully from the war with the Romans and this last little rebellion, and then I will begin conquering both infidel lands as well as my subjects´ respect.

However, I almost died earlier today! I was having a walk around my palace´s gardens with one of my few friendly courtiers, a nice young lady called Sirin. As I stepped a bit ahead of her to show her the flowers that my newest plant had blossomed, a dagger flew past me, narrowly missing my head, and buried itself in her throat! My guards surrounded me immediately to protect me from other attacks, as I watched poor Sirin gasp for a breath, and die swiftly. The brief glimpse of the attacker that I was able to catch was enough for me to know what happened: the dreadful Hashshashin had struck.

Hashshashin.jpg

It was too close

This event has left me wondering... was the assassin trying to kill me? If that is so, then why? The motivations of the Hashshashin are obscure... I really can not now why could they possibly brand me as their enemy. On the other hand, they are known to take contracts from outside sources. Could it be that someone hired them to see me dead? The implications are disturbing... If indeed someone sought the services of the Hashshashin Order to kill me, I must begin executing my plans as soon as possible. Who could it have been but one of my vassals?

I will summon a council meeting immediately. I must instruct my Spymaster to be alert for any scheming from my subjects. And I will discuss with my councilors possible targets for the expansion of my realm and the Sunni faith...
 
Last edited:

Gedierond

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4th of Thw al-Qi`dah of the year 563 from the Hijra (September 4th, 1168 A.D.)

As I write these words, my personal armies are assembling outside of Bulgar. I am to join them soon, and we will then march to gather up with the rest of my realm´s army, to bring the justice of the Sunni people to the poor Christian infidels waiting to the west.

The following day after the Hashshashin strike at my castle I held a council meeting, and explained my concerns to my councilors. The assassins´ attack could have been instigated by one, or several, of my vassals. If that is the case, leading a Holy War to infidel lands will serve me twofold. On one hand, I will have to leave Bulgar, and that will probably be safer now, both for me and my family. On the other hand, expanding the domain of the Sunni faith, and the glory it will grant me, will show the cowardly traitors behind this attack that I am not to be trifled with.

My Marshal immediately suggested a target.

"There are still two Russian counties to the north, my Khan, leftovers of the once great Duchy of Novgorod", he said. "They should be easy pickings for our armies, even if their remaining fellow Orthodox Duke of Volhynia aids them".
"That will not do", I replied. "I need to really make an impression of strength and fervor to the Sunni faith. I am the Caliph, after all! Attacking two small counties would make me look like a coward!"
"To the west still lies the Duchy of Galich, my Khan", my Chancellor intervened. "It once was the greatest of the Russian Duchies, but it has been ruled by Monophysites for years now, and constant wars with its neighbouring states has left it weakened", he explained. "It would make a fine conquest for our realm".
"No, attacking some small religion with few followers is not worthy of a Caliph... I must obtain an inspiring victory!", I said.

And then, it came to me. The enemy even my father feared battling.

"Aepak", I said to my Spymaster, "what do your spies stationed in Hungary report? What is Queen Luca´s situation?"
"My Khan, Hungary still recovers from the long Jihad it fought in the aid of the Catholic Roman Kaiser", he said. "According to my reports, I estimate the Hungarians could currently field a force of about 8000".
"What of their allies?"
"Queen Luca currently does not have any alliance with other Christian rulers. She has not ruled for too long, and most of her rule she spent fighting the Fatimid Caliph".
"But, my Khan, other Catholic rulers may step to her aid if we attack her, as she did for the Kaiser!", my Marshal explained.

Indeed, as I read in this journal, that is what my father feared... that other Christian Kingdoms, of even the Christian Roman Empire could help Hungary in their defense against Volga-Bulgaria.

"It does not matter", I replied. "Most of the neighbouring Catholic realms are probably exhausted and still recovering from the Shi´a Jihad, as Hungary is. And we have our allies to help us. I have decided it... the Hungarian infidels will feel our wrath!".

The next day, messengers left Bulgar for my allies´ courts, carrying my call for aid when the war begins. The first positive reply came from none other that Emir Hooshyar I of the Hashimid, wanting to repay his debt after my father saved him from the Greeks.

HashimidcontraHungra.jpg

I had no doubt Hooshyar would answer my call

Soon after, I received notice that I would be able to count with the aid of the Abbadid Emir and the Anushtiginid Sultan, both old allies of my father, and also the Hamadan Emir, with whom I had secured an alliance last year by marrying my daughter Songul with him. Hamadan was once part of the great Seljuk Empire, and lies deep within Persia.

So finally, after five months of preparation, last week I sent word for my vassals and my allies to raise their armies and meet my own in the county of Khopyor. The Holy War for Sarkel has begun.

Sarkel.jpg

These lands will soon feel the might of Volga-Bulgaria´s forces
 

Kanin_Usagi

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Uh oh! Finally time for the Khan to test his might against those Catholic infidels! Can't wait to see how his father's vision comes into play later on.
 

Faeelin

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Hey, how are you doing on conversions? In my game nobody my subjects remained stubbornly pagan.
 

Jedrek

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We'll see if the Hungarians still remember the steppe way of war? Let the nomads clash with ex-nomads!
 

BogMod

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I am curious how large a military force you can summon at full strength.
 

Gedierond

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Uh oh! Finally time for the Khan to test his might against those Catholic infidels! Can't wait to see how his father's vision comes into play later on.

Me neither, lol! Not there yet in the game, so we´ll all see what happens then!

Hey, how are you doing on conversions? In my game nobody my subjects remained stubbornly pagan.

Didn´t include conversion details to the AAR because I felt it would slow down the narrative. However, conversion hasn´t gone that bad, actually. I still have most of Cumania to convert, but many former Orthodox and Suomenusko provinces have turned Sunni over the years. Maybe later I´ll post a religion map of my realm (when it becomes spoiler-free :))

We'll see if the Hungarians still remember the steppe way of war? Let the nomads clash with ex-nomads!

This truly is a war I had been expecting for quite a while now. You´ll see what happens!

I am curious how large a military force you can summon at full strength.

Unfortunately, Sugr being not so loved as his father was means he is not able to raise as big an army as Borç was. However, Volga-Bulgaria can still summon quite a few soldiers. You´ll see in my next update.

Regarding my next update, I don´t think I´ll be able to post it today. Hope to find time to do it tomorrow!
 

Jedrek

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BTW, how are Holy Orders & mercenaries mechanics solved in SoI? Is there a separate mercenary pool and some kind of Ghazi troops avalible, or are those modlues completely inactive?
 

Gedierond

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Sorry about the delay! Couldn´t find time to sit and write these last days. Hope you like these new updates!

BTW, how are Holy Orders & mercenaries mechanics solved in SoI? Is there a separate mercenary pool and some kind of Ghazi troops avalible, or are those modlues completely inactive?

Haven´t seen any Holy Orders for hire. I don´t know if Shi´a Muslims get them. As for mercs, there´s quite a few options down here in the steppes for hire, but I don´t know if they are Muslim specific. I think not (can´t recall exactly, but I think I´ve seen them being hired by the Russians and Cumania ocassionally).
 
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