Lords of the Earth
Campaign Twenty

Turn 41
Anno Domini 1101 1105


Turn 41 Published on Sunday, June 30th, 2002.

I naturally feel bad about this turn taking so long.  Mostly because I actually could have run it while I was on vacation.  I took a week and a half from work and did very little, except in the way of landscaping.  Gathering and burning pine straw and bamboo in the back yard.  Actually broke a pick handle digging bamboo roots.  Both the roots and myself  were stronger than the pick handle.  It was kind of cool, walking back into the house dripping sweat to show Barbara the pick handle I snapped in half.  Had to flex my bicep pythons for her too.  She wasn't impressed but at least I didn't have to dig any more roots that day.  In any event I failed to press forward with the turn while away from work and I should have.

Turn 42 Orders Due By:     Friday July 26th, 2002, 8:00pm CST

New rules gone into effect last turn:
1. NFP support:  Those nations required to pay troop support are now also required to pay NFP equal to 10% of the total number of troops their nation.  Failure to pay this will result in the retirement of 10% of the nation's armed forces.  You cannot pick and choose who will retire.  The retirees will be taken equally from all armies/navies and all troop types.
2. Free BL and INFRA are gone.  You must have govt levels equal to your Imperial Size, or have Kings/Heirs RULEing or leaders ADMINing else you may suffer Thin Govt tax rate cuts and/or border regions degrading/revolting.

New rules going into effect this turn:  (PRIMATES AND SECRET EMPIRES PLEASE READ THIS)
The rules regarding Religious Primates and Secret Empires fail to specify a lot of details clear to open nations, so...

Lords 20 Religious Primates will use the following set of guidelines.

1. For purposes of movement, "controlled" boundaries means both regions are the same religion as you.
2. For purposes of intel/religious ops, "controlled" regions/cities means you have an abbey or better religious site there.
3. In order to transfer gold to a nation, you have three choices.
    A) unlimited transfer via a trade route, which you can and probably should start.
    B) unlimited transfer via tithe network.  If you get gold via this network from a nation, you can give back gold via this network.
    C) leader carried gold.  By land no limit, by sea 100gp=1 cargo point.
4. In order to transfer NFP to a nation, you have two choices
    A) unlimited transfer via a trade route
    B) leader led NFP.
        1. As free (non enslaved) people
            a. By land, no limit, but 50% attrition to other, more lucrative/fun careers.
            b. By sea, 1 NFP=1 cargo point, same attrition
        2. As enslaved people (official trafficking in the slave trade will cause your nation to go to slave economy)
            a. By land, no limit, but you must guard these by maintaining 10% ration of troops/slaves, zero attrition
            b. By sea, 3 NFP=1 cargo point, zero attrition
5. In order to loan govt points, the primate must have a religious site in that nation's capitol (or homeland in that nation has no capitol)

NOTA BENE:  Both the giver and receiver of gold/nfp/agro/govt MUST note this in each turn's orders.  Failure to do this will result in some or all such assistance being returned or lost to corruption, embezzlement, greed or sloth.  This is particularly touchy with respect to govt points, which can (and perhaps rightly should) cause much concern to those receiving it.

Lords 20 Secret Empires will use the following set of guidelines

1. For purposes of movement, all boundaries are "controlled" (since secret empires travels in such small packs).
2. For purposes of intel/religious ops, "controlled" means you have a cultic lodge or better site there.
3. Secret Empires who are discovered by an open nation will inevitably have sites discovered.  If a secret empire gets assistance from open nations, this disclosure process is accelerated.
"Three people can keep a secret, as long as two of em are dead."

ISI Rankings for Turn 40

Troop Conversions
Infantry (200 men = 1 point), Cavalry (200 men = 1 point), Siege Engineers (200 men = 1 point), Field Forts (2 forts = 1 point), Warships (2 ships = 1 point), Transports (2 ships = 1 point).

Lords Twenty Web Resources!

Contacting the GM

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Lords 20 c/o Eddie Efsic
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The Orient
Mercenary Troops 55mc, 53mi, 9ms, 19mw
Mercenary QRs i08, w07, s08, c08
Mercenary Leaders Massamo (M???)

United States of Asia (Yamato)     Nogami, First Minister of the Diet
Diplomacy:  Luzon (nt), Marianas (f), Nan Matol (f), Truk (f), Okinawa (nt)

Hejudo and Hejudo expanded, but the urban sprawl of Hagugori had pretty much reached its limit.   The limiting factor of actually growing enough food locally to feed the crowds went from a local to a national problem.  New ports grew from villages in Sikhote "Hosawa", Leyte "Ansuri", Sakhalin "Fusanagi", and Amgu "Inagu".

The USAU got the lion's share of national revenues, to the delight of academics on all the islands, while cultivation projects got but token funding.  President Nogami's decision to fund the urban expansions instead of cultivation drew criticism from the masses, even with the reassignment of internal fleets to fishing.

The Lu'an Chinese Kingdom  Soon Wa Up, Supreme Monarch of Lu'an
Diplomacy:  None

Open for a player

Three army pay wagons went missing somewhere between the capitol and the troops in the field.  Highwaymen in Yun were suspected of hijacking the shipments, but the culprits were never found, and the pay never recovered.  The normal numbers of retirees from military service were dwarfed by those who refused to serve for uncertain pay.

The Chin Empire      Che Wah, Regent for Che IV, Divine Overlord of the Middle-Kingdom, Lord of the River, Son of Heaven
Diplomacy:   Kansu (f)

Che III succeeded in fathering a child late in his life, and only just in time it seemed.  He died peacefully in his sleep early in 1103, leaving a seven year old son the awesome responsibilities of rule.  Fortunately most of the national army had been gathered and garrisoned near the capitol.  Good thing too,  the lad had a capable uncle willing to see the realm through the youth of the newest Divine Overlord,  keep things on an even keel as it were.

Che Wah took pretty much the same approach to empire building as the short peoples of the islands, funding city growth.  Amoy, Pienching, Nanking, Chang'an, Chengtu, Kowchu, Wonton, and Mukden all grew.  Trade along the silk road sparked the foundation of a new city  "Harbin" in Kansu.

Unlike the Nipponese, though, Che Wah funneled the national revenues into irrigation and roads within the Kansu, Shentung, and most especially Honan provinces.  Farmers and merchants packed small fraction of the huge agro surplus in preservation clay jars and sent them across the waters in exchange for a tidy profit.

Bacphan Zhuangzu      Fei-Tzu Jung, Overlord of South China
Diplomacy:  Nampung (ea)

Jung followed the lead of his northern brothers and financed city expansion in Tonkin, Vijaya, Saigon, Ban Hinboun, Shantou, and  Zhangjiang (what a cool name).  A new port "Danang" claimed its preeminence on the coast of Mison.  Champa, Xiamen, Zhangjiang (there it is again, I just love saying that name, Zhangjiang), Ban Hinboun, and Shantou got new assorted quality of life improvements.  Irrigation, police regiments (Guess where?  Why, in Zhangjiang of course) and the like.

Jung called his brother heir, for all of about 14 months, at which point he succeeded in fathering twin sons.  The rightly disgruntled Xiang went back to his familiar haunts, deep in the maze of alleys in  Hong Kong.  "He'll need me again, he always does" Xiang grumbled to his old friends and and his "ladies of the night".  Another son followed for Jung two years later, and Xiang's chances for actual rule rapidly went down the new sanitation drains, in Zhangjiang.


The Celestial Kingdom of the Jade Buddha     Po Po, 6th Incarnation of the Blessed Jade Buddha, Light on the Path to Nirvana, Illuminator of the Human Soul, Thinker of Deep Thoughts, Mayor Shangri-La
Consecration:  None

Comrade Gemmilski dropped his position here.
Open for a player.

The Pacific Rim and Southeast Asia
Mercenary Troops 16mc, 15mi, 21ms, 26mw
Mercenary Qr.'s i04,w05,s05,c04
Mercenary Leaders None

The Glorious Katoomba Imperium     Brendon, Chief Hee Nalu-sen
Diplomacy:  Eha-rana (f)

King Brendon's young reign continued uneventfully.  Future military expenses were cut by the systematic dismantling of the Tih-ar-dha garrison, no longer necessary with its incorporation into the Glorious Imperium.  Those troops were given jobs in construction and the new port of Wollongong emerged as the region's center of trade and commerce.

Brendon's longtime mentor and advisor Jolan was both stunned and honored to beth subject of some courtroom intrigue.  The King conspired to make Jolan more than nobility, actual royalty, but this could only be accomplished by arranging a suitable marriage.  After much searching and investigating the royal lineage in Imperium records, an acceptable bride was found, one second cousin, three places removed.  Jolan had no intention of becoming royalty though, and planned to beg off from his lord, until he got one look at his prospective bride.  Only nineteen years of age, lithe as a gazelle except in the upper torso, deeply tanned, sharp eyes, and a sharper wit.  It was more than a month after the joyeux event before Brendon, or anyone else, heard from the couple.

The Javan Federation      Jarakoni, President for Life Sirivjavan
Diplomacy:  Aceh (ea), Kedah (c)

Admiral Ginshinkon remained in the island province of Hainan to bring about chosen ties.  He died of apparent natural causes early spring 1102 and his plans to bring Hainan back to full Javan control died with him.  Diplomats elsewhere fared better.  Jankraya claimed Kedah for Sirivjaya, and Utayaf reconciled the island tribes in Aceh back into non-hostile relations with the rule of Palembang.

Jarakoni's namesake was dispatched to Bali for the declared purpose of preaching the truth of the one true religion, Bhuddism, to the island pagans.  Six people became believers.

The Avan Empire     His Majesty the Emperor Bob Vinh, Emperor of all Burmese People
Diplomacy:  none

The Avan vacation spot of New Hope received funds and manpower to beef up the port fortress walls.  Wouldn't do to have anyone get any funny ideas about annexing Burma's sweet beaches...

The Emperor's mounted regiment picked up new recruits, few of which were assigned anywhere besides the royal heir's personal command.  And a fine use he had for them.  Given  Bob's blessing for using the army as he chose, Sun Kwok led his army into Arakon province with conquest on his ind.  Accompanied by veteran generals Kri Vek, Shu Kan, and Prince That Naung, the region was quickly and quietly pacified.  Quietly that is, until the army began mass enslavement of the population.  A second force of resistance rose up to challenge Sun Kwok.  This rebellion didn't stand a chance.  Sun Kwok's 14,000 mounted soldiers, accompanied by 10,000 regular footman and 2,000 more elite infantry, smashed the rebellion to teensie weensie pieces and slapped the rebel leaders in chains along with the rest of the populace.

Alas, the expedition proved too much for the frayed nerves of both Kri Vek and Shu Kan, so the heir and Prince Naung returned to Ava the conquering heroes, dragging three thousand slaves in tow.

The Manta Ray Sect     Hullabong, Supreme Seer Diver
Consecration:  Mindanao (hc)

The South China Sea sprouted it's own distinct version of Oceanic Paganism, worshiping the Manta Ray as a physical earthly manifestation of the divine Creator.  Ever gliding, ever watching, never attacking, ever defending.

Mercenary Troops 28mc, 45mi, 6ms, 25mw
Mercenary QRs i05, w04, s05, c06
Mercenary Leaders Ahvbinfaad (M???)

Palankala      Daldrum II, Guardian of the Ganges, Divine Wrath of Kali
Diplomacy:  None

Open for a player

The Chola Mandalam      Umashanker, Mandala Chola
Diplomacy:  None

The cities of the Chola grew at a respectable pace.  Calicut, Tanjore, Polonarva, and Male.Dozens of merchant ship captains lined up and paid their requisite fees for dock licenses at these rapidly expanding ports, and promptly set of for fat profits to be had in the Fatamid Egytian markets.  The profit margin on Indian spice was going to make them rich beyond their childhood dreams.

Umashanker's ministers descended on Sri Lanka like a swarm of locusts, to sway the Bhuddists there of the wisdom of the one true religion, Hinduism.  Umashanker's appointment of his youngest brother as heir sent shock waves through the royal court.  Sooth he had no sons of his own, though not for a lack of trying.  His queen died of complications due to her pregnancy early summer 1103, and after so much trying to give the Mandala a son.  Umashanker promptly remarried, after waiting the requisite year for proper mourning.  Together they happily announced her pregnancy to the nation, and midsummer's day 1105, she gave birth to Umachanker's third daughter.  Some people just can't catch a break.

Xanthi Empire of Xanadu      Palpatyn VII, Grand Poobah of the Xanthi Zieterund, Rajah of the Rajputs
Diplomacy:  None

Religious practices became so scarce and infrequent in Xanthi lands as to be considered "abnormal" behavior.  The royal road from Beth to Xanth finally attained completion, so national project managers turned their attentions and resolve to the wilderness of Avanti province.  Laborers by the thousands went to Avanti and transformed the slowly developing region into one of wide fields.

Ever cognizant of the hostile threat.  The hordes,  who else?  What, you forgot about them?  Palpatyn ordered the reinforcement of most of his personal fortresses, and then went off to spend some quality time with the queen.  Brahma blessed him with another son and another daughter, and further three granddaughters by his son the crown prince Fador.

Sultanate of Sind      Sultan Naheef, Mansurashah, Protector of the Indus, Barrier of Allah
Diplomacy:  None

Naheef took his grand design of Sind society a step further.  With the guilds done and gone, Naheef set his sights on the flushing the caste system from the Sind collective consciousness.  Steps already in place for the mass spread of the message were brought to fruition by the hiring of 15,000 messengers and agents.  Spreading across the Sultanate, threats here, bargains there, and bribes where no other method worked.  Satisfied with his efforts, Naheef sat back and watched.  Only a matter of time now, and he knew it.

Naheef's conversion to Sunni Islam brought along most of the Sind regions and cities, notably excepting Islamabad and Punjab.  The rest of the Sultanate had one of two levels of concern for religious affairs, low and nonexistent.  The Sultan's Imams continued bashing their heads against the stone wall of indifference amongst the general populace.   To the rescue came Imams from Mecca, and restored a semblance of religious observance to the Sultanate.

In other, less dramatic affairs, Mahendrabad and Multan both expanded.

The Middle East
Mercenary Troops 17mc, 9mi, 14ms, 18mw
Mercenary QRs i06, w05, s06, c08
Mercenary Leaders  Ahmed Rashid (M???)

Imam Al Muslim      Abdul, Siadat Kuran, "The Sustainer"
Consecration:  Mosaid (ca)

The conversion of the Med islands continued without interruption.  Crete became entirely Sunni, while Rhodes and Armenia are now about half Islam.  New trade routes were opened with most Islamic nations of the civilized world, more for communications than actual revenue.  Madina didn't really have an export to speak of, excepting the esoteric currency of enlightenment, by way of the one true religion, Sunni Islam.

Emirate of Jamaa      Jamaal ibn Jamaal, Emir of Jamaa
Diplomacy:  None

Absent from colonialist minds, the port city of Jamaa expanded to service Indian and Egyptian merchants seeking shelter from storms.  An awesome place for some great beach bars, but alas, the Emir would have none of that.  A holy man was he, and strong drink was forbidden in all lands under his control.

The Shahdom of Merv      Abd Allah Beg, Shah of Bactria
Diplomacy:  Singanakh (f), Badakshan (a)

Religious conviction in Merv rose to al all time high, thanks in some measure to the generosity of the Imam of Mecca.  More so due to the conviction and resolve the Shah Abd Alla Beg.  Fortresses in the major cities grew taller and thicker walls, while Samarkhand just grew wider.  Trade with Sind opened across the Mountains of Pain, resulting in a few merchants driving their pack mule trains in search of new markets for their hides, and in search of salt for the Merv peoples.

Very mediocre, almost average, diplomats were sent to Singanakh and Badakshan.  Beg's long and trusted servant Walid was dispatched to each region in order to assign a couple hundred personal escorts for each diplomat, and add his own two cents of deplom to each effort.  Each effort reached a fair measure due, or despite as it actually turned out, to Walid's comments in the diplomatic arena.  Not your smoothest tongue, it seems.

The Shah himself spent his hours at work with the national army, whipping the mounted regiments into an elite strike force of cavalry, nearly as effective and fearsome as the hordes they'd likely be confronting before long.  Or so Beg thought at one time, and damn glad to be mistaken.

The Abbasid Caliphate      Muqtafi Mu'hammid Al'rahi, Kaliphat Rasul Allah
Diplomacy: Kuwait (n/e), Edessa (f), Arbiliq (ea)

Expansion to new lands was fine as far as the Kaliph was concerned, but growth... growth is where the real potential lay for the Abbasids.  Each and every city in the Kaliphate grew, excepting Hamadan on the silk road, and Alzaj, having already reached the upper limit of its potential.  The devastating effects of Baghdad's Great Fire of 1099 began to be reversed.  Destroyed buildings were dismantled and hauled off to a new landfill outside the Imam Gate.  These buildings were mostly pulled apart using beasts and ropes, although a couple affected landowners actually set fire to their property to finish the job started by the Kaliph's and the Imam's agents.  These landowners got a quick lesson in fire etiquette when their neighbors pulled them off their camels and bludgeoned some common sense into them.

The royal road was completed from Media province to the city of Hamadan, and a regional cultivation project was undertaken in Edessa.  Overpaid and undermanned, the laborers there worked as hard as they could, but failed to complete the regional project.

Muqtafi's diplomats were sent to regions across the Caliphate, effecting positive changes especially in Edessa.  Lord Mansoor failed his Kalpih in Kuwait by failing to affect positive change in his Kaliph's influence there.  He could, however, hardly be blamed, seeing as his failure was mostly due to his inability to stay above ground.  Bad dates.

The Fatamid Empire of Egypt      Lazuul the Great, Guardian of the Holy Places, Emperor of Egypt.
Diplomacy:  None

No orders received for the Egyptians.

Eastern Europe
Mercenary Troops 14mc, 13mi, 11ms, 15mw
Mercenary QRs i06, w03, s05, c05
Mercenary Leaders None

Rumelian Rus Sultanate   Jehangir Kutuzov, Sultan of Rumelia, Varangian Czar, Ghazi, Caesar
Diplomacy:  Macedonia (fa)

Ah, the summer season.  Jehangir's favorite time.  About the right time for some of his favorite game, "good cop, bad cop".  After being named heir by his father, ahead of his arguably inept older brother, Jehangir went about the Sultanate gathering all the available forces for some good old head knocking.  Crossing the Bosporus into the capitol Constantinople autumn of 1101, he went straight through to Thrace and decided it was high time the Christians there gave up their anarchistic and infidel ways in favor of the one true religion, Islam.  The inevitable rebellion was crushed by Jehangir's combined national troops and mercenary contingents.  Lacking their Christian rallying locations, the regional garrison got chopped and included in the fun in the port Heraclea.  The rebellion there was even shorter lived.

With things all nice and quiet, Jehangir left the newly converted region and port to his elder brother Mehmed to rule as "Prince of Thrace and Heraclea".  Hm.  Now Mehmed was no genius, not by any stretch of the imagination.  But neither was he an idiot, and he was taking active part in the governing of the Sultanate when Jehangir was but a pink infant.  Mehmed could still remember when 'Hang would gurgle and clutch his tiny mitts around Mehmed's thumb.  A decision day would come.

That day was October 17th, 1103.  Osman died less than a month after completing his memoirs and instructions for his succession.  Instructions which did not include Mehmed.  Thoroughly disgusted, Mehmed returned to Heraclea and his wine racks.  Abstinence?  Ha.  Leave that to the new "Muslims".  A year later, he was discovered dead after a solid week of heavy drinking.  Mehmed's seven year old son assumed his father's title and lands.

For all his efforts Jehangir was rewarded with the titles of Sultan, Czar and Caesar.  He wed his elder sister Feyn to the nobility of Macedonia in return for their allegiance.   He got less than he'd hoped for, but settled for the mutual defense alliance they offered him.  How ignominious.   Pushed off on some cowtowed Greek wannabe noble.  Was this Jehangir's idea of "inclusion" in the government?

Kingdom of Russia      Ivan III, the Wanderer, King of Russia
Diplomacy:  None

No orders received again.  The Rus continued to be mired in lethargy.  But hope, as they say, springs eternal.

The Polish Kingdom      Marko II Brodzinski, King of Poland
Diplomacy:  Austria (f), Lorraine (f)

Sometimes it really bagged being on the eastern front.  Nomadic hordes would just come barging right through, without so much as a "by your leave".  Fortunately for the Poles, there were contingency plans for just such an occurrence.  This particular contingency plan called for Prince Heinrich to hightail it to Moldavia with a division of light infantry and assume command of the local Moldavian guard.  Hole up in Odessa, hope, and wait for the Kin to pass on by.  Which they did.  Reports of the Kin strength reached Warzau and Marko began to see light at the end of the tunnel.  It might just be possible, he figured, to beat these nomads back into the steppes if they would refrain from their incessant recruiting.  Figuring the coast clear, Prince Heinrich took his command and set into Goryn for some token slave raiding.  Was able to round up only a couple hundred slaves, about average for the last few attempts.

The royal road was completed linking Kauyavia and Lodz, so work began immediately on a royal road segment from Lodz to Krakow.  That backwater town needed contact with the civilized world in a bad way.  Strassbourg, Danzig, and the border town Odessa all expanded, Odessa actually hanging onto its wall garrisons.

Makollig Jezvahted was dispatched to Austria and Lorraine, and found good fortune in both locales.  Fortune favored him with success in life, despite his unfortunate name.

The Kutai Horde      Orin, Kutai Khan
Diplomacy:   Chorasmia horde block (f), Tuhnwhang sub-horde (f)

Khan Orin continued the Kutai westward migration from Tahrain through Otrargh into Chorasmia.  Those nomads (Chorasmians) were very enthusiastic about the likelihood of pillage and plunder.  Fame, glory, all that nonsense.  Combined with the complete merger between the Kutai and his former Tuhnwhang ally, Orin succeeded in building himself a true force of nature.

Passing by the Kama Bulgars, Orin approached the tribal elders of Ghuzz and was met with casual indifference.  What was wrong with these men, he mused.  Could they not behold with their own eyes the wonder and majestic potential of the Kutai?  Dissatisfied with the Ghuzz reception and hearing rumors of the Mongols approaching from the north, Orin made his mind up to proceed onward, westward.  There in Nogai the Kutai unstoppable force of nature came face to face with the Mongol immovable object.

The Mongol Horde Wolf, Kucha KaKhan
Diplomacy:   Bolgar horde block (f), Nogai horde block (fa)

On the western shores of the Caspian Sea, Khakhan Timur of the Kin chose the setting sun as the future of the Kin peoples.  Figuring he'd get no better opportunity for escape, the Mongol Khan Wolf seduced one of his serving maidens.  The next new moon, the Wolf's guards became "distracted" by this maiden, and the Wolf made good his escape.

Off to the east, Wolf's son and heir Balkan had given the voice of the Mongols to Subudai, and it was put to good effect.  The Bolgar subhorde agreed to join forces completely with the Mongols in their quest for the rape and plunder of the civilized world.  The Tangut and Liao Khans both surprisingly tolerated this change in leadership.

Wolf's return to the Mongols in 1102 placed Subudai in a very difficult position.  Return power to the man to whom he had pledged loyalty, or keep it for himself.  The Wolf had shown weakness in combat both by losing the battle and by allowing himself to be captured.  Also true, Subudai had increased the size of the Mongol horde by over a half in less than two years.  Subudai's conscience and honor won the mental battle, and the Wolf resumed command of the Mongol horde.  One has to wonder if Subudai would have done the same had he known the Mongols' next destination, Nogai.

Initial presentations and shows of strength and skill to the Nogai had only just began when the Wolf's informants advised him of an approaching force.  Damn the Kin!  Always showing up uninvited, and long after the Wolf had thought them gone west.  This time, he vowed, the Mongols would teach Timur a lesson or two.  "Not the Kutai, lord." his informants told him.  "It is the Kutai.  Khan Orin is their leader, and allied with the Tuhnwhang and Lang Shan of the east.  Having been recently dismissed out of hand by the Ghuzz, Orin and the Kutai were just itching for a fight, and the Mongols were in the right place at precisely the right time.  So much for that "big steppe" theory.

Wolf planned to make a better showing for himself than last time, but the planets seemed to be lining up just as they had against the Kin.  He had more men, but inferior training.  However, this time the Wolf had more and better leaders to command than he had in the disaster across the Volga River.  The Mongols lined up in groups of one to three thousand, 140,000 in all.  Orin opposed him with 96,000 Kutai and allied horsemen.  With little fanfare or ceremony, the two hordes charged headlong at each other.  The pounding of a million hooves made the earth literally hum.  In just under an hour it was decided, in favor of the Wolf and the Mongols.  65,000 scattered Kutai rode back east to regroup, leaving Wolf in complete command of the field.  Feeling the weight of the world lift off his shoulders, and without anyone to challenge him, Wolf  called himself ruler of Heaven and Earth.

The Kin Horde      Timur, Khan of Kin
Diplomacy:  Alfold horde block (a)

Having just shown the Mongols what's what, Timur took his forces and the captive Wolf west into the Balkan steppes.  Pressing through the outlying Polish lands of Pechneg and Moldavia, the Kin crossed the Transylvanian mountains into Alfold.  Where he made some great friends with the Alfold and related Sinti.

Western Europe
Mercenary Troops 20mc, 20mi, 8ms, 21mw
Mercenary QRs i06, w06, s06, c06
Mercenary Leaders None

Denmark      Luthor, Imperator Danmark
Diplomacy:  None

The Danes lacked direction.

The Lombard Kingdom of Italy      Ludovico Orsini, Rex Sognari
Diplomacy:  Kyklades (f), Apulia (n/e), Spoleto (n/e)

The Lombards did not lack direction.   Ludovico had plenty of directions.  For starters, he had just the right place in mind for his little sister, one of the twins.  Constantinople, to wed the Rumelian Sultan Jehangir.  B'bye...

Some merchants found escape clauses from their contracts in Constantinople, profit margins being so low on account of market overcrowding.  Better pickings to be found "riding the boot", up and down both east and west coasts of Lombardy proper.  Both Italian and Papal eyes watched with great interest the Islamic missionary work in the Med, and both ensured the Kyklades islands remained firmly in the western camp, both spiritually and politically.  Rome and Nuevopatria expanded, Rome getting its walls rebuilt around the new city limits.

Ludovico had some more directions, this time for his brothers.  Send em south to get some new blood in the Kingdom.  However, Apulia and Spoleto refused for join the Lombard cause for entirely opposite reasons.  Apulian nobles figured the Lombards far too undisciplined, as evidenced by Ludovico's choice of diplomats, his younger brother Mario.  Who was "colorful" as one might say.  Mario liked his women, and most other mens' women just as much.  He wound up stuck on one such man's sword late one summer night in 1102.  Not a great impression.  On the other hand, Ludovico's other brother visited Spoleto and was so completely highbrowed as to completely unimpress those nobles.

The Roman Catholic Papacy      Justinus, Il Papa, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ
Consecration:  Pomern (ab), Gdansk (ab)

Papal funding and manpower was sent far and wide.  Poland got the greatest assistance to their government, while Turq France and the Island Khitan got some as well.  In a completely separate direction, Papal resources went to Kyklades and founded a port city there, named "Romulas".

Justinus formed a plan in his really old brain.  He'd gotten used to reading nearly every evening, and actually ran out of manuscripts in the Papal library.  After five decades in Rome, he'd read them all.  So his plan was to form a grand library, the "Librum de Paulus".  The heart of this library were manuscripts from the earliest days of Christendom, but Justinus made it known far and wide that all new publications would have to have a copy penned and sent to the Vatican.  True enough, there were few new manuscripts being written, but the library grew steadily if not exponentially.

Kingdom of Turquis         Charles, King of Turquis, Champion of the True Faith, Lord of the Franks
Diplomacy:  None

The Turqs did little in the way of real excitement.  They grew grapes, though.  Lots and lots of grapes.  And we all know what they make grapes into.  Yes, yes, yes!  Grape juice!  Most people like the green grape juice better, but there's those rebellious purple grape juice drinkers...  what is it about purple teeth that some folks find so enticing?  Oh, and some guys there are still making that fermented grape juice.  The priests like it I'm told.

Charles mustered his troops for exercises around  Ile de France, running relays between the innumerable field fortifications about the region.  folks, particularly the purple grape juice drinkers, began muttering about the King's age and wondering aloud about just when Charles would take a wife and sire an heir.

The Island Khanate of Khitan  Belgutai, Thunder Lord, Khagan of the Khitan
Diplomacy: Gwynedd (n/e)

Belgutai had plans of his own.  For starters, get the army down to a manageable size.  With most all of the island firmly in his control, what was use was a 70,000 man mounted army?  The cavalry regiments got slashed to the bone, making it possible to actually maintain the army at a stable level.  Belgutai's aides were to train this new much smaller force and bring Gwynedd into the Khanate entirely.  Whole hog, as it were.

What Belgutai did not plan on was all three of his main advisors and aides dying within the span of a year and a half.  The troops failed to get trained effectively, Gwynedd remained allied, and Belgutai was short another administrator.  To boot, the Pope withdrew the infrastructure assistance.  It was only by Belgutai's natural managerial skills that  the taxes continued to be collected.

And the hits just kept on coming.  Summer of 1104 was particularly dry, and the Sherwood Forest caught fire, spreading rapidly west to Nottingham.  Lacking anything in the way of fire fighting plans, the city burned to the ground.

Ummayad Caliphate Al Cordoba      Tarik, Caliph al Cordoba, Infidels Bane
Diplomacy:  None

The twelfth century began in fine fashion on the Iberian peninsula.  An age of tolerance and cooperation between diametrically opposed religions, Khufu walked the fine line of application of rule.  Naranjo, Bilbao, and Madeira all expanded, and Asturias became fully cultivated.  Over five sixths of the region had already been cleared of forests, so Khufu's work gangs made short work of the remaining woodlands.

There was a problem in Cordova though.  The problem was Khufu was tired.  Tired of the incessant bickering between the Catholics and the Muslims.  Tired of keeping the peace, and keeping the borders secure.  Tired of the responsibility.  Tired of it all.  With his son and heir Tarik now old enough, and armed with fair administrative skills, Khufu figured 68 was plenty old enough to retire.  Tarik, now the proud papa of three toddler sons and a daughter, was crowned the latest Caliph al Cordoba.  Unfortunately, Caliphs aren't supposed to retire, at least they hadn't up until now.  Remarkably, Tarik maintained the loyalty of every one of the national leaders, even his uncle Hafez, who had arguably just as much claim to the throne as Tarik did himself.

There was one who would be Caliph in Tarik's stead, his younger brother Musa.  Discussing plans to seize the title and throne with Minister Ali in Murcia, Musa was perplexed to find his jaw unable to open. Just what was that grainy looking stuff in his grape juice anyway?  Right along the massive national leadership support for Tarik's claim, nearly all the nation's regions proclaimed open support for Tarik as well.  Catalonia, Galacia, and Navarre were the only regions to revolt, and Catalonia's port city Barcelona caught a cholera epidemic for their troubles.  A full half of the city was wiped out.  The Asturian populace experience a massive resurgence of Christianity, but remained loyal to Tarik.  Thus ended perhaps the most painless DF in the history of L20...

Mercenary Troops 8mc, 23mi,13ms, 24mw
Mercenary QRs i05, w05, s04, c06
Mercenary Leaders None

The Algerian Caliphate      His Royal Majesty, Hasan Asad, "Zaban Nogreh", Lord of the Rif, Lion of Morocco, Sword of the Prophet
Diplomacy:  None

Nothing happened here.  Nothing to see.  Move along...

The Songhai Herdsmen      Onwardi II, Chieftain of the Herds
Diplomacy:  Mauritania (nt), Awlil (n/e)

A promise is a promise.  And Onwardi was one to keep his.  So cultivation projects began in both Boure and Khalem.  Expansion pushed the limits of the Herdsmen control north and west with the construction of a new port city "Dakar" on the coast of Senegal.  Postal roads linked the new city clear back to Kumbi-Saleh.  Big plans were in motion.

Trade arrangements with Tchad were set in force to equalize the profits from their international bargaining, and Onwardi most smooth spoken diplomat was sent north to pave the way for trade reaching the fat European markets.  That's most smooth spoken, not remarkably smooth spoken.  Through a bit of luck he managed to obtain the requisite agreements from the Mauritanians, but the natives of Awlil wanted little to do with the Songhai or their promises of riches.

Onwardi would never see the fruits of his labor, the results of his promises.  He did in the spring of 1103, and his son became the next Chieftain of the Herds, and kept his father's name Onwardi II

The Kingdom of Tchad      Ebola, King of the Dead, Omar Kanembu
Diplomacy:  Ikego (nt)

Tillaberi, Sikasso, and Illo all expanded, Tillaberi almost rivaling the Tchad capitol Ngazargumu in size and splendor.  Well in size anyway, Tillaberi wasn't nearly as pleasant a place to live as the capitol.  Lousy weather, heat, and the bugs...  ack, the bugs.

1102 was a momentous year for the Tchad.  King Ogbannaya failed to promote the welfare of his people by having the audacity to up and die.  Some people.  In great pomp and circumstance, his son and heir Ebola took up the reins of power and pressed forward with his father's plans.  Overcrowded trade routes were cut down by selective discontinuation of port licenses, those merchants thus forced to look within the nation instead of abroad for their livelihood.

Babatunde and Sefuwa had both been sent to gain tribute from Ikego natives, and this they did without too much trouble.  Both were then to return to the homeland, and this they also did, though just barely.  The trip took too much effort from the 54 year old Babatunde and he died in his vegetable garden late in 1104.

Kingdom of Nigeria      M'Bala, King of Benin, Darkknife
Diplomacy:  None

Lots of bullion stashed in the treasury makes for lots of activity when the doors are finally opened.  Togo got a new port city "Owerrie", and 1 cart load of treasures were divvied amongst the Togo elders in diplomatic negotiations.  Thinly veiled threats pointed to Douala and the potential repercussions of failing to see things in the Nigerian way.  Douala was the unpleasant recipient for a visit from the Nigerian military forces under the command of General Olubunmia and General Okocha.  They brought a couple friends, just over 18,000 friends who began rounding up they entire population as slaves.  The ensuing revolt was crushed to a fine soupy paste and the enslavement continued.  Three thousand slaves and a region devoid of significant human life was the result.

The problem was  Togo and its people were already being ground into the dirt under the heel of the occupying Nigerian armies.  No progress could be made for friendly relations as long as the garrison was set in the region.

Postal roads were built from the capitol in all directions, leaving only the furthest reaches of the Kingdom unconnected.

Kingdom of Angola      Chalom, Wise Leader and All-Around Nice Guy
Diplomacy:  None

Open for a player

Great Zimbabwe  Nikkawendo, Shaka Zulu
Diplomacy:  Mombassa (ea), Bassa (f)

Selective disbanding and gathering of local garrisons coalesced into the "Big Red One", Nikkwendo's personal guard.  Not quite as many as he had expected, since some of the units to be incorporated had already gone into other lines of work. Zimbabwe influence was pushed even further north than previously, shortening the distance required for merchants to reach the Sind markets of west India.  The newest port city was Dar es Salam in Mombassa.  The strong currents helped considerably, and new port contracts were signed for both Indian and Egyptian tradesmen.  Road construction continued, linking Delgado and Mozambique.

Nikkwendo showed his aptitude for fair rule and was adored by his people from Cape Delgado to Cape Francis.  Also by his new wife, and he rewarded her with three children, two of which were sons destined to carry on their father's name and legacy.

The Divine Cape Kingdom     The All-Knowing, All-Seeing !Xiva, God-King of the Cape
Diplomacy:  None

Now that the Xhosans were out of the way, the path was clear for a new port city there.  Mdantsane was founded in a coastal leeway, making such a nice natural harbor.  Not that there were many seamen around to take advantage of the safe port.  Trade routes were set up to the "Nigerians", except there were no "Nigerians" in Lobito.  Lacking white-out or a [del] key, the contracts were all rewritten to read "Angolans".

What was left of the Xhosan slaves after their forced labor on Mdantsane was put to work clearing forests in Nguni along the Zimbabwe border.

The Americas
Mercenary Troops 29mi, 8ms, 42mw
Mercenary QRs i07, w06, c06
Mercenary Leaders  Naktinow (M???)

The Iroquois Nation      Queen Yellow Day, Prime Chief of the Council
Diplomacy:  None

Hidden Sapling was growing strong and fast.  Younger than both her brothers, she was destined for greatness.  She would rule the Empire after her mother before her.  Not there was much to it, it seemed.  Green tree and his warriors went off south to garrison the southern frontier, and things proceeded in Adena as they had, well, pretty much as they had forever.

The Sonoma Kingdom      Wind Dancer, King of Sonoma
Diplomacy:  None

The rule of the realm proceeded apace, deciding which cities were to get royal funding occupied pretty much all of Wind Dancer's brain cells.  He decided Tharsis would be the grand prize winner this year.  Sanitation waste removal, actual public baths, the whole nine yards.  A new standard of living was being realized there, one which would rapidly become the envy of half the cities across the Kingdom.  Only half because the other half were already living that standard.  One remarkable side effect was that people were more healthy, though many folks attributed such overall good health to the favor of the gods.

Advisors close to Wind Dancer reported his ministers were doing absolutely nothing to promote the welfare of the Kingdom.  One of them was accused of being a dissident, and employing subversives as his aides de camp.

The Aztec Empire  Running Llama, God-Emperor, Divine Ruler of Mexico
Diplomacy:  None

People continued to stream from all corners of the known world to gaze in awe at the Temple of the Sun.  Nothing else happened.

Anasazi Republic      Stick in Mud, Chief Executive of the High Desert
Diplomacy:   Naschitti (f)

The postal road from Chaco to Snaketown got widened and smoothed to make travel between the two cities an actual pleasure.  Buffalo Walks trained some new recruits to round out his army to a nice even number.  Just in time to kick the bucket.  Personal guards are great against mortal would-be assassins, but the Spirits of the Dead call everyone eventually.  Not even the best bodyguards in the world can drown their calls, and all answer the summons of the void.

Stick in Mud was off in Naschitti with Greathouse when he heard the news.  The two decided one of them would win any election the nation could have, so they decided between them that Stick in Mud would run and Greathouse would not.  The election was a mudslide, and Stick in Mud became the newest Chief Executive.  Greathouse remained in Naschitti to complete the negotiations there. "Don't worry, it's all good here." he told Stick in Mud before the would be Executive returned to the capitol.

The Andean Incan Empire Pachamac, Emperor of the Heavens
Diplomacy:  Guyami (ea), Boruca (f)

The colossal project extending the royal road network was completed and stretched from Tambo far away south all the way to Tokriqok in Boruca.  A man made wonder it was.  Tokriqok at the northern terminus had recently become the launching point for merchants off to Anasazi ports, and expanded in size.  Guyami and Boruca both became hot spots for colonists across the Empire, prompting the Emperor to set a cultivation project in motion in Boruca.  In short order those tropical forests were cleared away, and the hills of Boruca sprouted corn and wheat fields from the white beaches on the east coast to the black beaches of the west coast.

Quiro Mapuche      Amriko, the Chosen
Diplomacy:  None

The "desert" of Coquimbo turned out to be a rather nice place to live.  Not really a desert in truth, more like a dry steppe.  A new port city emerged there, named Vallenar.  Clean air, without all the rain.  A nice sea breeze every night too.  Figuring five kids is not too many, Amriko and the Chosen Bride continued increasing their immediate family size.  After fathering three more sons, Amriko figured he'd done his share, but got a nice surprise late fall of 1105 when his wife presented him with twin daughters.  Just for a baseball team, including a designated hitter.