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Posted: Friday, May 19, 2017 9:35:41 PM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662

Cadiz is surprisingly ancient; founded by Phoenician settlers two thousand years ago, it fell under the sway of Carthage, and then Rome, where the inhabitants became citizens and by the time of Augustus, it held the third highest number of equites out of cities in the Roman Empire. Then it fell to the Visigoths, and was mostly destroyed, and then the Byzantines, and then the Visigoths again.

As one of the many quirks of history, it seems that the Umayyad conquest of Andalusia was the result of an accident. Tariq ibn Ziyad, formerly a slave to the emir of Ifriqiya, had been appointed governor of Tangiers. The bordering county of Ceuta remained held by a Visigoth, Julian:

who sent his daughter to be educated in the court of Roderic, the Visigoth king of Hispania. Roderic, who had recently come to power by brutally deposing Wittiza, unwisely decided to rape her. Julian, incensed, vowed his revenge; he would use the Muslims to bring Roderic down. He offered Tariq the use of his ships and forts to secretly launch a raid against Roderic's kingdom.

And so Tariq landed seven thousand men, beneath the mountain renamed for him, the Jabal Tariq, burning his ships behind him. Roderic, despite having a hundred thousand men to his name, did not have their loyalty (as they were mostly relatives of the previous king that he had assassinated) and quickly died in battle. Within a year, the major cities of Hispania were held by Tariq, and he became its de facto governor.

But that was a century and a half ago. Julian's line, now proper Muslims, still rule Ceuta. The Umayyads still rule al-Andalus, but nothing else. Once rulers from the tip of Iberia to the edge of India, revolt after revolt has brought the Muslim world into disarray. With their present sultan, only Allah knows how long they will manage to hold on to that.

Which brings us to our protagonist, the son of a Jewish convert to Islam, named after the Tariq who seized an opportunity and a kingdom. This Tariq, despite his young age, was granted the sheikhdoms because none in al-Andalus can rival his skill at command, and throughout the whole Muslim world only ten are his superior. (Once Hunting kicks in, that drops down to two--the Shah of Baluchistan, and the commander of Galilee.)

Able with the sword, spear, or bow, firm in his faith and control of himself, Tariq is the very picture of Furusiyya.
Posted: Monday, May 22, 2017 12:37:14 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
So a handful of problems with the save meant we made new characters in a new world; most disappointing to me is that the muslim world had four female geniuses in KoM's save, and 0 in the new one (there goes my sapiosexual joke). Also bothersome was that I thought we wouldn't get AAR rewards, so I switched gold over to adding shrewd, and took out a loan--and then we did have an edit, so we added in AAR rewards. We also started with pictish pagan barons; all of them said they'd give up their title without a fight, but I think as some of them said yes the opinion of the rest dropped, and then they said no.

Cadiz, 252 A.H. : Tariq takes the throne, establishing the Duchy of Seville (with some help from distant cousins), and methodically puts his plans into motion. First, marriage proposals, sent to the most intelligent women the Muslim world has to offer. Second, set off for a hajj. Third, consolidate power. Four of six meekly abandon their titles; the other two fight, and it doesn't take long for them to be crushed, even with Tariq off in Arabia.

There, he learned about the major theological split of the day, between the Mutazilites and the Ashari.

Both of them are very strong traits; Ashari is the more natural fit, as Tariq's Zealous trait means that at some point he'll get an event to either switch to Ashari or become cynical, and providing 1 piety a month helps with all the things Muslims use piety for, but Mutazilite gives +5 learning, which is enough for Tariq to enter the Hermetic Order:

Which lands him a sweet hat, and the ability to choose an apprentice:

Parween gets a neat hood, tho the bead veil seems pretty iffy to me. The other benefit is that, as a duke, Tariq is earning tech points, and that extra 0.2 points a month per category will help. Tariq's first theorem paper is "entirely average." Given his traits, it's probably about jihad. Surprisingly, it's approved by all five reviewers.

The Sultan declares a holy war on Castille (unfortunately, a player spot), and Tariq dutifully sends troops; poor leadership and miscommunication on the Sultan's side leads to a defeat when Tariq's forces are unsupported against the Asturian army. The war continues, mostly not in the Sultan's favor, for the rest of the session. After a retreat, he returns to Seville; Algeciras and Sevilla are both held by counts not yet loyal to Tariq. Both of them are unremarkable (4-11-2-0-6 and 5-5-2-5-6), but the count of Algeciras's first daughter is a genius. He's quickly brought to heel, and then Musa, Tariq's eldest son, is betrothed to her. At time of writing (258 AH), the count of Sevilla still resists, but his army is mostly shattered and the defenders of his castle are losing their resolve.

So what does the future look like? At the start of next session, Tariq will personally hold 3 castles and 3 mosques, have 3 city vassals, and have 2 count vassals (well, shortly after the session start). Both counts aren't pleased with not being on the council, and so should only be counted on for about 200 levies each. The war with Asturias will still be going on, though it's unclear for how long. While increasing the power of the Andalusia title seems worthwhile, moving the Sultan from his current single-county demesne to potentially having four counties seems problematic.

To the west is the Emir of Algarve, second son of the Sultan and likely heir, with 500 troops. To the north is the Emir of Badajoz, who is surprisingly weak (only a thousand troops) despite his 9 counties. (It's not that he doesn't have a lot of martial; at 19, he's close to Tariq.) His vassals apparently provide him basically nothing in levies; only 320, while his counties grant 660. To the northeast is the Sultan, who can call on 2000 men; in theory Tariq could muster the same number, once they all reinforce. To the east is the Emir of Grenada, with only 260 men to his name. To the south is Shia Mauretania, and 1700 troops.

Granada is the obvious choice--weak from unification, it also allows conquests deeper into the heart of Andalucia, including knocking out the sultan's other son, who has intrigue 20.
Posted: Monday, May 29, 2017 12:00:13 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
Cadiz, 258 AH. The plan... runs into obstacles.

Tariq runs into early successes. Seville folds, as expected, and Tariq advances in the Hermetic Society:

A battle leaves him with a wound that turns into a sweet scar:

The Sultan, mismanaging his many foreign wars, does not take kindly to Tariq's attempts to expand within the realm.

So the Emir of Grenada is safe... for now.

Speaking of many foreign wars, the King of Italy is warring for Valencia; while causing the Umayyads to expand is not obviously good, causing them to contract is horrible. So Tariq leads his armies into the field--

Allah's will is mysterious, and Tariq goes to an early grave, despite 6 personal combat skill and 27 martial. His son Musa is 7; indeed, his rule may be doomed to fail. Musa has one younger brother, and then the dynasty will be extinct (as far as Muslims are concerned).

But he manages to survive camp fever, and has a normal childhood.

Including... puberty. (Interestingly enough, historical Andalusia seems to have been one of those societies that assumed people were bisexual, and so the opinion malus might not make that much sense.)

But besides some fun events (like the following--I decided to not murder my 18 diplo chancellor), there's really not much to do. And without Tariq's massive martial, the number of troops Seville has to throw around is sorely constrained.

So I focus on inviting women to my court, and marrying them off to unmarried Muslim geniuses, to try to have more options in the next generation.

And the Sultan continues to mismanage Andalusia; I have no idea why other people didn't want to help Tariq fabricate a claim.

Musa comes of age and had 10 years of activity until the session ends. Besides dull, he's actually not that bad, he's just not great.

His brother is a little more impressive overall, but his martial is minimal. Sadly, he dies at age 20, after having a single daughter (who's a genius).

Musa had been betrothed to the genius daughter of the Sheikh of Algeciras since they were both very young; they married immediately, she had a son, and then died in childbirth. But her son, named Tariq, was a genius, and so her sacrifice was well worth it.

Musa attempts to conquer Grenada; once again, the Sultan calls for a Realm Peace. Well, if you're going to be that way--Musa turns south, declaring a holy war on the Shiites in Mauretania. They've shattered religiously--Shiites, Catholics, Hurufi, and Sunnis--and so they should be relatively easy to pick apart. (With the potential exception of Tlemcen, which has been colonized by Aquitaine.)

So at 283 AH, the ibn Matta dynasty has grown to 5 living members, and three dead--Tariq, his son Abbad, and Musa's third son Adfuns, who was a sickly child with a hairlip. (No need to save that one.) Musa, at 27, is rather young to be a patriarch; his 20-year old sister Maliki is betrothed to the 13-year old duke of Badajoz, who realm contains most of western Andalusia, and his 7-year old niece Salma is a genius and already nearly as good a tactician as Musa is, though this won't do her much good as a woman. Musa's two children are Tariq, 10 and a genius, and Fadl, 9 and a Mirza and grandson of the Sultan. Whether or not this will turn into a claim is unclear, but seems unlikely. Fadl has been set up as the Sheikh of Marrakech, unable to form the duchy without taking more counties, and thus not going to fall out of his father's realm just yet.
Posted: Monday, June 05, 2017 12:10:14 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
Musa sat on a stone bench, his gaze idly resting on the burbling fountain in front of him. It was recent--it hadn't been here in his father's time. He thought of his father frequently these days. As a child, Tariq had towered hover him, a memory always slightly out of reach and a legacy that he never quite lived up to.

Although that wasn't quite true. Tariq had taken the Emirate, and then failed to push into Grenada. Musa had failed to push into Grenada, for the same reason; the meddling Sultan who feared any of his vassals growing stronger. But Musa had pushed into Marrakech. And even now his soldiers drilled to take the fight further north, to push the Catholics out of Tangiers, and the accursed Hurufi would come after.

But he had never had his father's ready faith, or his keen eye. Musa could lead an army, and better than most--every few years, he would have to decline the Sultan's request that he serve as a commander.

He scowled at the thought of the Sultan that he advised, as his father had before him. The realm had fallen into chaos and was beset by constant war, which never ended in favor of the Umayyads. Even when Seville's armies and generals were wedded to their own, the Sultan's strategies were insane.

"My Emir," his wife Iberia asked, "What troubles you?"

He turned to her, shaking the ill thoughts clear. She was a pale beauty of the native Visigoth stock, and had been his brother's wife before his. After Abbad's untimely death, he had taken her in. Once his third wife, she was now his first; the first had died in childbirth, the second executed because of her plot to kill his firstborn, Tariq.

"Thoughts of the realm, and our fool Sultan. But what troubles my heart is that I am older than my father ever was, and when I should feel close to him I feel distant."

Iberia sat on the bench, listening intently but making no attempt to console him physically. They shared a bed every four nights, as was proper, and had made a child together thus, but both knew that Musa's interests lay elsewhere. But her advice he treasured, as she thought more quickly and deeply than he could, which is what had raised her out of obscurity to eventually become an Emir's wife.

"He always was the perfect knight to me, but... rulership is nothing like that. How does a perfect knight respond to his wife attempting to murder his treasured firstborn, out of selfishness? How does that even exist in the same world? How does he reconcile the duties of loyalty with the chaos sown by usurpation and misrule?"

He paused, and then, in a low voice, asked, "How do I show my children the right way, when I know not what he would have done?"

She looked at him, pity shining in her eyes, and then she stood. "You may not have your father, but you still have his library, and his wife Parween, who worked with him closely. With the two of those, you should be able to find some of the answers you seek." At his look, she laughed. "Yes, I'll be there to help as well."

And so Musa spent many days in study. He had come back form his Hajj a changed man, mostly humbled by the display of piety others showed. The intricacies of faith had seemed irrelevant to him, but a diary from his father--barely an adult!--carefully detailed issues of religious philosophy that he had been captured by during his Hajj. Notes on swordsmanship, hunting, riding, and more were noteworthy mostly in regards to their diligence; Musa was no duelist and had no intention of being one, though he did do his best to cover the castle with trophies, an attempt to match his father's records. He adopted the Mutazalite ways, and joined the Hermetic Order.


The session, in brief: Musa declares a war on the Catholic count who has four provinces spread throughout Mauretania; the Emir of Fes is fighting for two others. The hope is that Fes will win, Musa will get up to 1k piety, and then invade Mauretania (Fes won't win, and the Umayyads will holy war the Idrisid Sultan who does win, getting it for themselves; a holy war against Fes fails as they turn out to be Christian and 9k holy order troops turn the war around). The Furusiyya happens, and Musa does shamefully. (Not the worst possible result, but still.) The war takes a while but goes well, with the ibn Matta troops winning despite being outnumbered (because of good leadership). Musa builds an impressive laboratory (sort of a waste, given what comes next).

Tariq ibn Musa comes of age, and is as excellent a strategist as his grandfather.

Musa realizes that the response to this chaos is to do heroic things and stop it himself.

...and quickly grows despondent as the problems he has to deal with aren't the ones that he wants to, and there's little he can do about the larger ones.

He names Tariq as heir apparent, giving him command of everything but Cadiz.

And then decides to step away from responsibility.

Tariq II is crowned Emir at the tender age of 19 on the 1st of Muharram, 293 A.H., and is an altogether impressive figure. Tall, broad-shouldered, and an ambitious genius, he quickly sets off for Mecca.


By the end of the session, he's ruled for about 13 years and has a handful of friends ready to crown him Sultan... as soon as these damn wars are over.


The dynasty is up to 26 total members, with 22 living; as it happens, Musa is the only person that died this session. (Not that surprising, given the age range of the ibn Mattas.)
Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2017 2:19:38 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
307 AH, Safar 1: The session in brief, followed by details:

When we last left Tariq, the Sultan of Andalusia had named him spymaster, which allowed him to easily get sufficient support to forge a claim on the sultanate himself. But for it to be accepted by the other emirs, he has to attempt to forge it in peacetime. At the beginning of the session, the Sultan is at war, with both a revolt to put another claimant on the throne and a county conquest from the Emir of Badajoz, both going poorly for the Sultan (what a shock). In about a year, the Sultan gives up on the county conquest, and Badajoz grows slightly larger. Tariq, expecting his plot to be harder if the Sultanate switches hands, sends his armies into the field to try to prop up the ruler he's about to tear down.

The wars are like whack-a-mole; while fighting that war, more crop up; the pretender is put down, and another war starts; it's not until 322 AH that the final war, a revolt by the Valencians, is ended. (That's 15 years into a session that lasted for 19 years; all told, I think it was over 20 years of ceaseless war since I started the plot.) And even then, because of how few vassals the Sultan has left, there are only enough supporters of the plot to give it a 60% success rate.

Allah be praised.

The Sultan calls a Furusiyya, and Tariq decides to put off his war until it concludes. He does well, but doesn't win. He also can't invite any of the other vassals to his faction, even the ones that owe him favors--because of his abilities as spymaster earlier, discouraging vassals from joining factions.

But he has over twice the strength of his liege; there's some chance that the Sultan will give up without a fight. I ask for installation of the claimant; the Sultan considers and decides to go to war. Three months in, he dies on the battlefield. If only he had been captured! Shortly thereafter, the Holy Roman Empire declares a Holy War for Seville, and their primary army is scared off, and some secondary ones crushed. (Since the HRE is an AI player, the best I can hope for is a white peace.) The war with the Umayyads almost reaches completion, but isn't quite there yet (99%).

As well, Tariq ibn Tariq, the lunatic syphilitic genius who is the likely heir in the next generation, decides to become an adventurer and launches a war for Mauretania against the Shia Caliph; it goes well, with all of Mauretania west of Alger under Tariq's control, until the Caliph puts down the revolt to the east and is able to bring his full army to bear. Tariq impresses the Sultan with his military abilities, who recruits him as a commander after the war.


Besides trying to fight my liege's wars for him, the session included ignoring my half-brother's affairs with my chancellor, executing my syphilitic first wife for trying to murder my children, convincing sons and other relations to not become decadent (typically using the religious argument option; with Tariq's excellent learning, it worked every time but once), picking up a wife in the woods, and progress of Tariq's career in the Hermetic Order. He brings two apprentices into full membership.

He writes excellent papers on planets, distillation, and the sun, all of which get accepted into the order's library. (Oddly, Salma, his apprentice, wife, and cousin, rejects the two papers she has a chance to, and is the only one to do so.) He also writes his Magnum Opus, on the Universal Panacea.

The main news from the rest of the world during the session is the second Crusade for Pannonia.

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 5:13:54 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
After not using a bunch of screenshots last week I took last week, I was insufficiently diligent in collecting them this week, and so missed a handful of important events.

This AAR began with the earlier equivalent of this picture (for some reason, the Umayyad CoA turned to solid black). Note that only two of the six in-game holders before Tariq died with the title in their possession, and for one of them it was because they died in battle in a war over their title! In either event, on the 4th of Jumada al-akhirah in 327 AH Tariq finally becomes Sultan--and inherits three wars.

The stain on the ibn Matta dynasty, Suleyman decides to put his only non-zero stat to work, hoping to put himself slightly closer to the inheritance by killing Tariq's eldest son. He's imprisoned and thrown into the Oubliette. A year later, the unforgiving conditions combined with his generally poor health results in his death. (I don't know who married him to another ibn Matta--hopefully it was the AI--but I don't know how they expected that to end well.)

Tariq's demesne at the start of the session finishes flipping to Andalusian. This is the 'ruler converts province' event, not...

the melting pot event. (This one comes from later, but is here for context.)

On the 20th of Rajab in 333 AH, the Maktab School of Medina Sidonia opens its doors, the first university in the world. (Historically, al-Qarawiyyin in Fes is older, but province equalization wiped it out. This also beats Oxford's historical founding by more than a century.) Its creation is the third great work of Tariq's life, after his Magnum Opus, al-Qanun fi al-Tibb, or The Canon of Medicine, and becoming Sultan of Andalusia. It is later followed by a Madrasa at the Mosque of Jerez, which is also the first of its kind.

At about this time, Tariq comes to the realization that Jews and Christians, rather than being infidels, are only misguided. Perhaps it was rereading the Greek classics of philsophy as part of founding the university?

Tidings of things to come?

On the 5th of Dhu al-Hijjah in 333, six years after becoming Sultan, Tariq finishes the last of his inherited wars. (He could have white peaced earlier, but taking cash from the nearby Catholics seemed well worth prolonging things.) Now all that's left is an Umayyad adventurer who's declared a war to take back the Sultanate, but hasn't shown up yet. (He does sometime between 336 and 338, and gets beaten and then banished, netting Tariq a tidy profit.)

A year later, coincidentally on the same day, Rafiqa of the Wilds, Tariq's wife that he picked up last session, dies from complications due to Gout. He later picks up another wife, Huda, in the same way. Tariq has generally only had two or three wives during this period; I typically hold out for genius, quick, or political, and it seems worth the prestige to have slots open. (Tariq also already has a huge number of kids, most of which are unlanded, and it's not clear adding a bunch more will help.)

On the 28th of Sha'ban in 338, Tariq's friend Abdul the Hunter, the Sultan of Mordor, dies, and Tariq becomes the Grand Magus. (He'd already been at the rank of Magus for twenty years, as it's non-rivalrous in the Hermetic Society.) Here's a good enough place to mention the paper topics from this session: hieroglyphic translation and the Philosopher's Stone.

On the 1st of Muharram in 340, the fourth of Tariq's life works is complete: all Muslim rulers in Andalusia once again bow down to the Sultan. On the 21st, to celebrate the unification, he calls for a Furusiyya. Unsurprisingly, his son Tariq ibn Tariq wins.

With some bonus KoMplaining!

One last thing to clean up--the Emir of Badajoz remains a huge vassal. (This is especially bad since he has most of the Catholic provinces left in Andalusia, and dukes can only convert one province at a time.) Thankfully, his dynasty is shamefully decadent--and so Tariq asks his court imam for a fatwa. As part of the iqta system, sultans can revoke emirates at will, but it's nice to put him in a worse position before asking. (He gives it up without a fight.)

In 341, deciding to make the most of this moment of peace and prosperity, Tariq calls for a grand debate, and is declared the winner.

The Shia caliph dies, and Tariq presses his son's claim for Mauretania again. This time, with the full weight of Andalusia behind him, it seems likely they'll succeed. The session ends in about 351, with the war still ongoing, about a year before the Pope can call another crusade, which is likely to dominate the affairs of the next session.
Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2017 8:31:23 PM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
Shortly after the start of the session, in Shawwal of 352, Tariq ibn Musa dies. (I had hoped to delay this by removing Infirm, so that I could have Tariq II leading the merc company and then taking the Mauretania title, but it didn't look like he'd live long enough in SP tests, so I had landed Tariq so he'd be the heir.)

Tariq II was secretly Germanic, which was preventing him from joining the Hermetic society.

He begins construction on the Tariq ibn Musa Memorial Hospital in Cadiz:

The Hajj for Mecca, however, has to wait until his war against the Asaru completes and he's king of Mauretania.

As a lunatic, Tariq has some crazy ideas.

The Pope, however, thinks differently. A crusade against Andalusia is declared, and many battles fought; with the infusion of funds from Hedarabia, enough mercenaries are hired to turn back the tide and push them out of Andalusia. Rome is only a quick sail away, and the Pope's holdings are sieged to the ground, and then his cathedral in Figuig as well.

Then, foolishly, I looked at the warscore (about 70%) and said "you know, it's probably worth continuing to fight this to knock 10% MA off Catholicism" instead of saying "well, time to white peace to remove the threat to my primary kingdom."

One of the core frustrations of playing CKII MP is that there are things that, if you paused and looked at everything, you'd see and deal with. For example, because I had revoked titles from some traitors, I was at 16/9 demesne size, which had reduced my income from about 12 ducats a month to about 2 ducats a month. I realized this a few years too late (and it's not like ~400g would have made a difference >_< ) and handed those titles away. But the money had already run out, and the merc army started to disperse.

As well, a faction to put the Asaru back on the throne of Mauretania had declared their revolt, and put together five thousand men. Easy enough to deal with in times of peace, but now?

The Christians came back; more had joined the crusade, and then they retook the Pope's lands. White peace was no longer on the table. And soon there were 20k enemy troops throughout the ibn Matta lands; with sieges of his demesne, warscore of 100% was quickly reached.

For some strange reason, Tariq keeps the Sultan of Andalusia title, but is down to a single county, stolen from his relative. His army of 1.3k is no match for the remaining 5k stack warring for Mauretania; he decides to surrender before they kill his troops and siege him down.


As far as I can tell, here ends the story of the ibn Mattas. They're down to two counties, held by separate rulers; one of them has a king title, but only until Eire decides to spend the cash to usurp it.
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