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As would a Sith lord say: a minor setback, which by no means delays the ultimate triumph ;)

Good to see you writing again :)
Finally got around to reading some of the contest AARs, just read this whole one in my lunch break. Very entertaining style. I like the differences between successive rulers especially.
As would a Sith lord say: a minor setback, which by no means delays the ultimate triumph ;)

Good to see you writing again :)

I lol´d at the quote!
And thanks! It´s good to be writing again!

Cliffhanger. :sad:

Need more, keep it coming.

Lol, coming!

Finally got around to reading some of the contest AARs, just read this whole one in my lunch break. Very entertaining style. I like the differences between successive rulers especially.

Welcome along, glad you like it!
21st of Shawwal of the year 574 from the Hijra (April 1st, 1179 A.D.)

I remember when the war with the Hungarians ended. I was only 8 years old, but it was then that Aepak, my regent, started to take me to the council meetings so I could begin to see how to rule a country. The first meeting I attended was an interesting one, indeed.... I remember it clearly, as it had a significant impact in my early life.
The councilors were discussing plans to speed the recovery of Volga-Bulgaria after the war with Hungary. Then, Sotan, the council Chancellor, and the man who had been supported by a large part of the court to take the post of regent, presented a message from the Sultan of Khiva. The Sultan requested the hand of my mother in marriage, as she was still in a fertile age and unmarried since my father´s death.


My mother? Taken away from me?

Sotan suggested the council should accept the request, to improve our relations with Khiva, as our alliance with them had expired after my father´s death. Volga-Bulgaria would not get any alliance from the marriage, but the improved relationship could lead to an alliance later. Aepak argued against this decision, but in the end he had to accept it as the rest of the council agreed it would be the best thing to do.
Sotan was probably right about the improved relations with Khiva, but know, many years later, I see more clearly what happened back then. I will write about it later.

Shortly after my mother had departed, on the 18th day of Thw al-Hijjah of the year 566 (August 22nd, 1171 A.D. in the Christian calendar), my guardian Samur told me an emergency council meeting had been summoned. I did not understand well what that meant, but I could see she was very upset. In the meeting we learned that, with just two months having passed since the end of the war with Hungary, Queen Dagmar I of Denmark had declared a Holy War against our country, and that her armies were marching towards the Duchy of Novgorod.


Out from a war and right into another!

Bad news indeed, as our armies had just finished fighting a huge war, and they were not even near of recovering fully. Fortunately, we soon received word from our Anushtiginid allies, saying they would help us defend the Sunni faith against these Danish infidels.

In month of Raby` al-awal (November in the Christian calendar), our scouts spotted Danish soldiers approaching our borders. About 7500 strong were coming from the Swedish province of Vodi, while over 5000 approached from Danish lands. The lords of Volga-Bulgaria had been able to muster a force of about 21000 men, and were marching to face the Danes to the west.


The enemy approaches!

The first battle took place in the province of Novgorod, where the Danes had gathered to lay siege to the local castle. Most of my realm´s army had gathered in the neighbouring province of Torzhok, and 19000 soldiers marched to relieve the besieged fort. The battle began on the 28th day of Sha`baan of 567 (April 24th, 1172 A.D. in the Christian calendar). It was a long battle, with even casualties in both sides, but it ended in victory.


A good start

My Marshal then divided our armies. Part of our men chased the fleeing Danes to destroy their forces, while the rest marched to besiege Danish lands. By the month of Muharram (September in the Christian calendar), Volga-Bulgarian soldiers were laying siege to the provinces of Vitebsk and Daugava.


The Danes are on the defensive now

While the war with the Danes raged in the west, things in Bulgar were about to take an odd turn. During the last year, with my mother gone, I had become much closer to other relatives of mine in the court. Particularly, to my uncle Törtogul. He was seven years older than me, and somehow he felt he should take care of me after my father´s death, and specially after my mother left for Khiva. Thus, we had become quite close friends, although he probably saw me as a younger brother.
On the 8th day of Raby` al-Thaany (November 26th in the Christian calendar) Törtogul came of age, and, as a close member of my dynasty, many felt he posed a risk to my rule. After reading this journal, I now understand better everyone´s concerns back then, as I learned that Törtogul was my grandfather´s intended heir.


Did he know what his father had intended for him?

A council meeting was held to address this issue, where Sotan explained that Törtogul should be imprisoned, as was customary in our country for non-ruling dynasty members. I was then already old enough to understand what that meant, and I refused fiercely to such an idea! He was my friend, and I knew he had no intention to usurp my rule, as he was more interested in religion than in politics. Thankfully, Aepak supported my arguments claiming that, up to that day, as Törtogul was my closest dynasty member, he was also my heir should anything happen to me, and it would not be wise to imprison him or to put him in danger. The other council members agreed with Aepak, and Sotan had accept the Törtogul would remain free. As expected for a Sunni Prince, he was given landed titles: the County of Kakheti and the Duchy of Abkhazia.

I was really glad that Törtogul could be spared prison, but this event ignited a drastic change in Bulgar politics. Sotan was an ambitious man, and I am sure he desired the regency and the power that comes with it. With my mother gone, the fiercest defender of Aepak´s position was no longer around, and this final dispute between Aepak and Sotan gave the latter a reason to take over.
A couple of months after the issue with Törtogul, Sotan challenged Aepak to a duel, claiming that Aepak was not fit to act as regent as he had let himself be influenced by a 9 years old boy. Aepak was known by his ability as a duelist, but Sotan was much younger as well as a capable fighter himself. In the end, Sotan prevailed, although not without being gravely injured by his rival. The title of regent had suddenly changed hands.


If I had been older, I would have been much more worried about this
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I sense a civil war approaching...
I almost conquered the world as these guys, if you can survive, there is no stopping you. Only 2 Major Starting Problems, the Russkies and the Cumens. And later hell incarnate, 3 Mongol hordes.
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