Ethiopian War, The

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T151 missing
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1633-1634 T153
Lybia: Later in 1633 this did not seem to be such a swell plan as the news of the defilement of Mecca sprinted from one end of the Sahara to the other and the western tribes. The Berbers and Tauregs of the westrn periphery exploded into violence. Combining under the guidance of the war-chief and raider Pharusii they descended upon the Masai trade station at Awlil with intent to destroy and ravage. Sadly for their plan they found the city far too well defended for them to take, though they drove all Masai out of the province. Gathering local levies they pressed north up the coast, storming through Arguin like the wind. Again they gathered local forces and destroyed Emphyro (which was undefended) before sweeping into Idjil to find themselves facing... The Aztec army!

Federal Imperial Republic of Ethiopia: Liberal bonuses were paid to the Syrian and Lybian troops encamped with the Egyptian host in Mogadishu. Very nice commemorative medallions were passed out to the Egyptian and Lybian troops (some of real gold) for their bravery in defeating Zool's revolt. Apparently the medallions for the Syrian contingent went missing (perhaps due to the intermittent banditry plaguing the roads back north. Large bags of gold, however, took the sting out of this oversight. Otherwise the southern armies remained encamped outside of Rotai and awaited the arrival of Egyptian reinforcements from the north.

Gneral Tusan, commanding the reinforcements, marched south and exercised his troops with assaults on Mahala and Nur'Ahan, both of which fell to the Egyptians, before joining Ram'sos and the Alliance army at Rotai.

General Siashi, given command of the campaign in the interior, gathered a new army at Gamo-Gofa and launched a campaign into the Trans-Victorian region, intending to subdue the Maasai highlands. His attack into Buganda was unopposed, and his troops marched across Ankolye threatened only by yellow fever and dysentry. Once in Luba (driving for the remaining linchpin of Masai control at Mbeya) the remaining Masai army intercepted them, resulting in a pitched fight on the plains of Tanganyika. The Masai then proceeded to grab the Egyptians by the nose and kick them in the ass. The lost provinces were recovered by the end of 1634.

Emperor Hailie first learned of the Jihad with the arrival of refugee ships from Burhine in Aseb. Alarmed, he dispatched riders south to recall his army with all due speed! The excitements in the south, however, delayed their arrival and Hailie spent a lot of time tearing his hair out. Near the end of 1634 he looked up in horror from his desk to see (through a high window in the fortress of Debaraj) a great black fleet sweeping into the Gulf of Tadjoura. The Emperor made a swift choice and abandoned the province for the safety of the highlands. Issas and Debaraj fell in fire and slaughter to the enraged Musselmen from India.

Indian-Arabian Jihad: Encamped at Medina and in Djibuti.

The Axamaloatl Kingdom of Mixteca: The Mixtecs, upon hearing that the Jihad had roused the tribes of the Sahara to blood and slaughter, declared that none would pass their lands to invade Egypt! The Mixtec DeathJackal Legion also undertook campaigns against the tribes of Kanuri and Zerma, and exacted tribute from both and undying oaths of loyalty to the Axamaloa.

Beyond the Mixtec frontier, the jihad stirred and swelled in the tribes of the Borkou and Faya, erupting into a sweeping attack by those tribes that rolled across the Egyptian frontier and reclaimed the provinces of Batha, N'Jimi, Kreda, Salamat, Wadai and Darounga from the Copts. Understand that the JIhadii did not take these provinces but turned them back to the native peoples (who resumed Islam as well). Koumogo, cut off from the rest of Egypt, revolted.

The Maasai Kingdom: The Egypto-Lybian-Syrian army, meantime, that had been waiting at Mogadishu at last recieved the word of the Jihad and, needless to say, there was a great deal of consternation. The Syrians were outraged that Coptics would so cruelly treat them; the Copts and Catholics were equally outraged that someone would defile their honor so! Generals Saladin, Ram'sos and Kilij all appealed for calm and were faced with thousands of angry troops. Despite virulent rumor (including one regarding the death of Emperor Hailie at Arab hands) calm was maintained and the troops remanded to barracks. Sultan Dirgham arrived with the Syrian fleet and was soon joined by the Egyptian General Tusan. Emir Yusuf and the survivors of the fleet action off of the Comoros were next.

At this point council was taken and the Lybians declared that they must needs return home to succor their countrymen who would now face fierce nomadic attack from the west. Thus Yusuf and his men began the long trek north. Dirgham and Ram'sos also conferred and the Egyptians came to the unpalatable conclusion that their own nation would soon be under attack. And so they marched away north as well, leaving General Tusan and a strong force to maintain a watch on the Masai frontier.

The Lybians and Egyptians reached Djibuti itself by the end of 1634, but were unable to come to grips with the Jihadists who had just finished destroying Issas and deBaraj.

Back at Mogadishu, Rotai was finally assaulted and taken by the remaining Egyptians under the command of Tusan. The Syrians, intent on thrashing the remaining Masai, were ordered south by Dirgham. "Devil Copts lie before us and behind! Let us bring low the capital of the Masai for there will be rich loot for all!" Cheering, his men swung south with high hearts. Sweeping into Brava, they assaulted and took Malindi, which was destroyed with much the same vigor and ferocity shown by the Jihadist armies in the north. Dirgham granted generous portions of the loot to his troops and they again marched south.

New Mtwara was again defended, this time by a relatively small army of 23,000 Masai. Seeing that there were no less than 80,000 Syrians were pounding south to kick their bootie, they fell back over the mountains into Kimbu to protect the new capital.

Dirgham was displeased to find that his true target had slipped through his fingers, and gave his men free reign to butcher the hapless inhabitants of NewMtwara in an orgy of destruction and slaughter that caused even veteran officers to blanch in horror. Then laden with gold, slaves and loot of a thousand kinds, the Syrians marched back north, reaching Rotai in Mogadishu by the end of 1634.

1635-1636 T154
Lybia: The Lybians, tired of the fleas, flies and disease of the east Afriqan coastal plain, packed up their bags in Djibuti and returned home to the cool breezes of the Mediterranean and the white-washed houses of New Oran. The threat of the Jihad, of course, had nothing to do with this...

The Northern Jihad: Unknown to Tughlugh, some of his distant cousins were coming to aid and assist him in his war against the infidels. The Karatao, LangShan, and LobNor tribes had at last recieved the news of the Defilement and, filled with righteous zeal, marched west with the speed of the djinn! By the end of 1636 they had reached Tehran in Persia, green and white banners streaming in the north wind, lances ready to soak up the blood of the defilers!

South of Akko, at the foot of Mount Carmel, the Jihad raised a great fortress (the Rock of Allah) astride the highway leading down the Levantine coast to Mansura and the Krak de Chevaliers. This they garrisoned with strong men and true, to ensure that the road for further feyaheen remained open.

Tughlugh was also well pleased to recieve substantial tributes of grain, cattle and gold from the Syrians. He declared that they were fine Moslems and strong in the spirit of Allah. Well fed and fatted upon the calf, the feyaheen marched south from Akko singing their favorite song "kill, kill, kill the Coptics! Kill, kill, kill the defilers!" with the stirring chorus of "maim! maim! mutilate!".

Tughlugh led off the thrust deep into the heart of the infidel with a swift force of a 100,000 nomadic horse that thundered down the great highway, through the wide fields of Mansura, and into Egypt itself. There the swathe of their burning was great indeed and the skies over Alexandria blackened with a deep pall of smoke, rent only by the lamentations of the populace. The Ethiopians had already abandoned the city, declaring it "open" and had fled south behind the Great Nilotic Wall. Tughlugh and his lancers carved a wide swathe through the hapless citizens clogging the roads south and launched a daring cross-Nile attack from Egypt into Ghebel-Gharib, where the wall defences were least...

30,000 Germans, Italians, Tauregs and Syrians held the river against no less than 176,000 Jihadists. The mercenaries broke even as the first rippling barrage of Jihadist artillery fell among their positions and a hundred thousand throats shook the heavens with a cry of "Allah Muq-hadi!" and swarmed across the broad brown snake of the Nile.

The feyaheen had regouped after chasing down the remaining mercenaries and were preparing to strike across the bridges into Faiyum to take the city of Meroë when, from the south, in a great roil of dust the Ethiopian Host of Jah approached. Tughlugh rallied his lancers and his infantry swarmed forward into their lines, Avar-fashioned muskets and bayonets glittering in the searing desert sun.

The epic battle of Qêna (August, 1636) focussed everything down to one cast of the dice of Fate for the Empire. The Lybians had gone home, the Syrians were having their own problems in the south, the entire Imperial army had been rushed north to engage the Jihad, save for a small force with Emperor Hailie in Darfur. 78,000 Ethiopians took the field in the blasting heat of August against the 173,000 Jihadists. Ram'sos, who had already waded through the carnage of Mersa-Fatma was sick at heart to the see the numberless columns of the Jihad march onto the broken fields and copses of the Nile plain. Tughlugh commanded a vast force, mostly cavalry true, but anchored upon a solid core of Avar and Syriac infantry. Ram'sos sweated, pulling at the thick high collar of his uniform jacket, his men were better trained, long used to standing together. Everything else was against them, numbers, guns, even freshness. Distantly, horns sounded and the Jihadist cavalry began a wide flanking motion. In the center, the Jihad foot advanced at a steady pace under the sea of green banners...

Two days of hammer-and-tongs slugging back and forth ended with the last Ethiopian square going down under the mirror-bright lances and sabers of the Karluk horsemen. Those few Ethiopians who managed to flee the Jihadist pursuit reached Gozer with tales of hideous slaughter and defeat.

By the very end of the turn the Northern Jihad occupied Egypt, Faiyum and Ghebel-Garib. All three provinces (mostly abandoned by the Ethiopians) became Shi'a.

Federal Imperial Republic of Ethiopia: Uweru responded to a polite note from the Sud Afriqans stating that the name of the FIRE should be the "Federal Imperial Republic of Egypt" with an equally polite note stating that the Afriqans could damn well stick their thesarus up their collective ass.

Egyptian armies were hastily mobilized throughout the realm, generals dashing north and south to try and stave off the Jihadist attacks. In the north a motley collection of mercenaries had been thrown together at Meroë and deployed behind the wall. [See Northern Jihad].

In the west, the Jihadists in Darounga first crossed into Ennedi to the north (where they found nothing worth their while) and then descended south with frenzied warcries to ravage the lush fields and rich orchards of Darfur... Not! The Emperor himself, with a strong army, was awaiting their invasion and was swift to march to do battle with them. After a sharp engagement the nomads were shown the value of artillery and fled back into the wastes beyond the Wall of Jah.

The Indian-Arabian Jihad: While everyone else was posturing and posing and exchanging notes and throwing dirty laundry out of windows the Indian-Arabian Jihad was attending to matters of greater personal concern, like how they wouldn't mind just a little land to call their own. Medina, in which they were already encamped, was placed under the direct rule of the Pasha and the feyaheen marched north in bright array, stomping Hijaz and Petra under their heel. They ended the turn in Levant, where the supplies and cool breezes of the Rock of Allah under Carmel were welcome to them.

While Bahrun was subduing the Aramaic tribes, Haji Selduz and his men in Djibuti had packed up their kitbags and scampered north into Zeila in hopes of staying a step ahead of the very angry Ethiopian army force-marching out of the south. The Baron of Walaga however, and 5,000 of his cousins, brothers and uncles intercepted them at Mersa-Fatma and blocked their advance (by getting slaughtered) long enough for the main Ethiopian army to catch up and fall upon the feyaheen like sand-devils!

85,000 Ethiopian troops under General Ram'sos, smashed into the 72,000 Jihadi under Haji Selduz on the sandy plain before the looming black walls of Mersa-Fatma with a great cry of "Jah is great!". The green banners of the feyaheen rippled in the strong seaward breeze and then vanished in the catacylsm of smoke and fire as the Jihadist guns opened up.

Despite a ferocious pounding the Ethiopians held to come to grips with the feyaheen and crushed their army in a no-holds-barred toe-to-toe slugfest that left over a hundred thousand dead on the field of battle. Wading in blood, the Ethiops slaughtered the remaining Jihadist troops to win a very costly victory.

The Ethiopian army then was forced to regroup and then march north again to confront the even greater invasion from the north. Luckily, they were joined by another army from the far south and together, again numbering near 80,000 men, they marched into Ghebel-Gharib to find, to their lasting dismay, that the Northern Jihad had already crossed the Nile and scattered the mercenary bands... [Back to the North Jihad results].

Gamo-Gofa, Kefa, Loriu and Chalbi (partially aided by the Masai) revolted by the end of the turn.

Republic of Sud Afriqa: Ashore, General Saladin shook his head and marched his army back north (again) chopping his way through Brava and Mogadishu into Scebeli, where he wintered in 1636. The Sud Afriqan fleets dodged around on the coast, liberating Râs Hafun and Berbera from the Ethiopians. Mogadishu, conquered and re-conquered, was indipendent by the end of the turn.

1637-1638 T155
The Sultanate of Egypt: Again, vast wagonloads of food, grain, figs, dates, herds of sheep, long trains of oxen, countless bolts of linen and flax poured into Egypt from Syria to support the fledgling kingdom. Tughlugh turned his sights south, intending to smash the reeling Ethiopians against the Anvil of the southern mountains. To celebrate the coming campaigning season, Tughlugh also ordered the formation of a Drum & Bugle corps to embolden his warriors and to strike fear into the hearts of the mewling wimps of the south. Soon after its formation, the Amir also wrote the first 'fight song' which goes like this...

Allah's Will Is Being Done
As We Form Our New Kingdom
Kill All Of the Infidel
Send Them All Straight To Hell
Kill Kill Kill Kill (Chorus)

Tughlugh led his personal forces south like a storm of locusts through Aswan and into Suakin, where he besieged Gozer.The city, though well defended, could not stand, unaided against the Amir's heavy siege guns and fell at last to the flowing wave of green banners. In the west, the Karluks lanced south along the Nile, sweeping though Thebes, Dongola and Alwa before fetching up at the walls of Mulkur in Kordofan...

Late in 1638 Tughlugh was more than a little concerned to learn of the destruction of the Karluks. These Ethiopians, he thought, they have not yet learned who is the master! I will have to teach them thoroughly... His demeanour was improved, however, by later dispatches that informed him of the arrival of the Arabian feyaheen, as well as those of Borkou.

Federal Imperial Republic of Ethiopia: The Ethiopians ran about screaming "the sky is falling, the sky is falling!". This did little to prepare their nation for the onslaught coming from the north. Emperor Hailie, stricken with grief to see his nation brought so low, died in the winter of 1637, leaving his fourteen year old son, Kuze, to rule a rapidly shrinking Ethiopia. Despite the general rotational momentum, General Siashi (with his cronies at the Ministry of War) were able to field a new army of ill-trained levies, and to hurriedly erect fortifications for the various cities exposed to feyaheen attack.

Lacking the forces to stand against Tughlugh and his Avar-Syriac regulars, Siashi decided to let them do as they pleased in the east, while he attempted to engage the Karluk advance in the west. This was easily accomplished by camping at Mulkur until the nomads swarmed before its walls. Prince Coufe marched forth to do battle, and the Karluks were willing to oblige him at Ed Debba on the Wadi'el'Qaab (August, 1638). Coufe led 69,000 men (the entire Ethiopian army) against the 75,000 Karluks (all light horse). The Karluks, confident to the last, charged the Ethiopian lines in full battle cry. Coufe held his fire until the nomads had passed the first of his ranging stakes and then ordered battery fire and then muskets by volley. The Karluk horse vanished into the surging black cloud of cordite smoke and spitting hell. The entire Karluk army was either slain or captured, with only a few bare thousands escapng in utter disarray to the north (ne'er to be seen again, most like). The Karluk khan was slain as well. The Ethiopians lost 6,000 men (the Dongolans in the main, shattered on the right wing by the edge of the Karluk charge). Coufe led his men back to Soba to regroup and prepare for the next battle.

The Maasai Kingdom: The Maasai gathered a few paltry more levies and moved to meet with the Sud Afriqans at Mombassa. Once there, they found the Afriqans afflicted with an unaccountable torpor. Despite the pleading of the Maasai commander, the Sud Afriqan fleet did not persue the Syrians north and thus the Moslems escaped the trap...

1639-1640 T156
The Sultanate of Egypt: Various attacks on the Egyptian Arabian posessessions were weathered by Tughlugh, who knew that his main enemy still laired to the south in myriad cities and fortresses.The newly arrived LangShan were requipped with a vast store of arms and marched off south to do battle with the infidels. Newly captured Gozer in Suakin was fortified as Tughlugh prepared to recieve a counter-attack. This did not develop immediately, however. During the summer lull, Tughlugh once more turned his pen to the parchment and soon a new fight song was hurrying to all corners of the realm:

Allah's fist is coming down,
to smash the Copts into the ground.
They run, they shout, they cannot hide,
for Allah's might is on our side!
Chorus: Here we come, we'll kill you all!

While Tughlugh dug in at Gozer, his son, Juchen and the Khan of the Karatao were having words in Alexandria. Juchen desired to march south with the Karatao horse-archers whilst giving over his own infantry battalions to the Khan. The Khan would have none of this and after a week of fruitless wrangling the Prince ordered the Karatao south along the Nile while he marched to reinforce his father. At much the same time relations with the Syrians worsened and certain imams within the Egyptian government discovered that many of the Syriac battalion commanders were, gasp!, in the pay of the Syrian Sultan. Mass arrests and executions followed, much to the delight of the Turkish leaders that had recently come to the jihad and were jealous of the southerners that were already in places of power.

The Karatao prince set to his assigned tasks with great relish, for this involved the very extripation of the Coptic populations of Thebes and Aswan. A bloodier and more heinous series of atrocities then ensued as to make the hearts of civilized men quail and flinch away. Shortly put, both provinces and the city of Dungunab were "ethnically cleansed" of those professing the Coptic faith and replaced by Karatao and their families. At Dungunab a pyramid of skulls thirty feet high was reported by a Somali trader and the streets were said to run gutter to gutter with the blood of the citizens.

Much of 1639 passed peacefully on the northern front as Egyptian armies mustered and marched hither and yon, but as the winter rains passed and 1640 was fully underway, so too did the campaigning begin. Almost simultaniously Tughlugh marched south from Gozer into Adulis and the Borkou horse swept south out of Dongola into Kordofan to threaten Mulkur once more. At the same time various wild rumors filtered out of the south of a seaborne invasion...

The Ethiopians, hoping for a victory somewhere, abandoned the northern cities and Tughlugh spent the spring hammering at the city-fortress complex of Mt'Suia, which eventually fell to him, though not without cost for the Ethiopians had now heard of the slaughter in Thebes and Dungunab and knew the fate that awaited them. The defence was fanatical. After the fall of Mt'Suia Tughlugh turned south and west and advanced into Atbara, intending to pressure the Ethiopians into abandoning their campaign in the south to protect Soba. However, no one showed up so he spent the rest of the year balsting away at the walls of Kassala. The city fell by the end of 1640, but so too did the redoubtable Tughlugh, felled by the main murderer of his troops, cholera (which was epidemic in the siege lines around the city). Jurchen, already in place, assumed command.

In the west the Borkou, unmolested, invested the great city of Mulkur and - promising the spare the city - secured its surrender in late 1639. The LangShan made the march into the southern theatre and besieged Omdurman, whose defence was captained by Lord Ky'mystr. Despite the unfamiliarity of the LangShan with their newly aquired guns and artillery their numbers (some reports placed them at over 200,000 men) were more than sufficent to flatten the defences and bring yet another Coptic city under the green-and-white banners of Egypt.

Federal Imperial Republic of Ethiopia: The Ethiopians, determined to not be outdone by some smelly Muslims, announced that they too had a fight song:

Pthggh, pthggh, pthggh!
Jah!
Poop on the Jihad!

Music critics felt that while it lacked something in technical complexity it made up for it sin plhegm and spirit. Joachim holed up in the great fortress of Tabrat and pondered the destiny that had brought his realm to this unfortunate state of affairs. Messengers arrived daily bringing worse and worse news. Mt'Suia in Adulis was under siege, Mulkur in Kordofan was surrounded, a great host of the Jihad had marched into Axum and was nearing Omdurman. A Masai army had landed at Djibuti and was crossing the Adal desert to attack Jahar. The Ethiopians retained only one army. Prince Kuze roused himself from the severe depression that had gripped him since the death of his father to order Joachim to save at least one city. Joachim flipped a coin and sent the army south to face the Masai at Jahar.

The Maasai Kingdom: Various Masai operatives, informers and other agents got knifed, garrotted, drowned and shot during the turn. Despite this the Masai army was sealifted by the Suf Afriqans into the desolate wasteland of Djibuti. Under the command of Prince M'Gumbu the 70,000 Masai marched inland along the Imperial Highway towards Jahar and the great fortress there that straddled the road to the highlands. M'Gumbu advanced, confident that the Ethiopians would be entirely involved in repelling the assaults of the feyaheen in the north. Thus he was amazed to crest the last salt-bush studded ridge to look down upon the valley of Asebot Terara Afden and see the smoke of a thousand fires and the clear sight of a large Ethiopian army encamped under the white-washed walls of Jahar.

The Battle of Jahar (September 24th, 1639) was really a sideshow in the greater war, but it was a bold move by the Ethiopians. With a smashing victory at Jahar an entire front could be retired. If the Jihad continued to waste its energies reducing Coptic cities one by one then perhaps forces could be gathered to throw them back. At least the mountainious heartland of the Empire would be retained. M'Gumbu's 50,000 Masai infantry marched into the valley in high spirits, their enemies nation was crumbling under heavier and heavier blows. The Ethiopian general, Gorain, deployed his army in two wings with his artillery battery at the center. M'Gumbu, lacking any light field artillery (he had a plethora of siege guns), flanked to the right and Gorain moved to counter. Once the armies had met, Gorain proved tenacious and pinned M'Gumbu's line while the Ethiopian infantry laid down a withering fire, supported by a constant barrage of artillery.

Without any counter-battery fire to support them, the Masai fell in windrows and then suddenly broke, streaming from the field in flight. M'Gumbu, attempting to rally his men, was felled by Ethiop infantry and taken captive. That of the Masai army that survived fled into the wastes of Adal and many perished there. Gorain had lost less than 3,000 men in winning one of the most one-sided victories seen in a long time. Enheartened, he marched back north with M'Gumbu in chains at the side of his horse.

Republic of Sud Afriqa: The Bank of Sud Afriqa intervened on the international cartel level to bail out of the Masai kingdom, which otherwise would have defaulted on a major loan. Uige, Karoo and Swazi became Roman Catholic. Darian in Matopos expanded a level. The Vice-President,Goree, died while walking in the woods near his home in Rozwi, attacked and savaged by a lion. An effort to get involved in the Cape Verde sweepstakes was upstaged when the Sud Afriqan ambassador was forced to flee in a laundry boat as the Danish fleet attacked. Other ambassadors, faced with unknown destinations and hostile tribes, or cultures that really were not that fond of them, met with equal success. The Sud Afriqan Red Cross, a medical aid hospice group, was founded to aid the afflicted and injured in the East African War.

In the Horn of Africa the Sud Afriqan fleet made a massive appearance, landing the ill-fated M'Gumbu and his Masai army in Djibuti and striking against Zeila and the fortified city of Aseb there as well. 43,000 Sud Afriqan troops were landed at Aseb under a sprinkling of draken for air cover (the ciyt defenders almost immediately knocked down two of the balloons with heavy ballista and light cannon). Unlike most Ethiopian cities, the defence of Aseb was not well led and the Sud Afriqans had a free hand in attacking it. Indeed, when the Afriqan marines stormed the gates they found the populace weeping with joy to see that they were Christians and not the Devil-Plague from the north. The province was easly secured. The Afriqans then struck at Mersa Fatma in Danakil and found it well defended, but no match for the heavy guns of the fleet or all that siege artillery that they had been trucking around. The fleet finished off the turn with a dawn assault on Tuamorotu on Socotra, which was seized from a surprised and sleepy Syrian garrison.

1641-1642 T157
Federal Imperial Republic of Ethiopia: Things were very bleak in Ethiopia, what with the feyaheen at the gates and the Sud Afriqans and Masai sniping at the coast. Luckily for Kuze, his hopeless situation was going to get a year's reprieve. After sweeping through Kassala the feyaheen dissapeared. After learning of the Syrian attack in the north, Kuze ordered a limited attack to the east to clear the road to the coast and reopen trade with someone, anyone!

General Gorain and his men were able to advance through Atbara and Adulis without undue resistance, liberating those provinces, and then sweep down the coast, freeing Danakil and Zeila from the rapacious Sud Afriqans there. They then hurried back to Soba lest the feyaheen attack again. The Sud Afriqan fleet continued to blockade the coast, however, and trade remained a distant hope for the Ethiopians.

The Maasai Kingdom: The Masai were still trying to get over the shock of losing their whole army last turn and kept inside where it was a little cooler.

Republic of Sud Afriqa: The Council, torn over wether to try and take more land in Ethiopia, fell to squabbling amongst themselves and allowed the moment to slip away. The Ethiopians reclaimed their lost coastline and only the fortitude and agressive nature of the fleet commander at Socotra maintained the blockade of the coast. Otherwise the usually vigorous Sud Afriqans were a little wilted in the heat and stayed home.

1643-1644 T158
The Sultanate of Egypt: Now clearly locked in a mortal struggle against both the descrating Copts and their own treacherous Sunni brothers, the Shi'a imams in Alexandria launched a massive campaign of conversion to roll back the laxity and sloth of the Syrian moslems. So effective was this effort (given the recent efforts by the Syrian government to reduce the strength of the Sunni church within their realm) that the provinces of Sinai, Petra, Jordan and Bostra became Shi'a. In a peculiar aside, the Druze of Lebanon (and many of their Gnostic and Sunni fellows) accepted Hussite christianity.

Federal Imperial Republic of Ethiopia: In an effort to rally the common people around the cause, Kuze cut taxes and raised the pay of the army. Everyone liked this, but hoped that it meant that things were getting better and not worse. His efforts to hire some mercenaries, failed, but he stalemated the Sud Afriqans in their equal attempt as well. Kuze, shaking off the torpor that had hamstrung Ethiopian efforts to defend themselves, declared (after a lengthly conclave with various Jahist religious leaders) a counter-crusade to drive the "smelly punk moslems" back into the sea (or at least Syria). This effort did not go as well as he might have hoped, but a few thousand fanatics did swell the ranks of his armies at Addis-Adaba. Now the army stood poised to repel the next wave of attacks...

The Maasai Kingdom: King Hegeli, pressing himself too hard in attempt to get the offensive against the Ethiopians under way, died of a heart-attack in 1643, leaving his son M'Gumbu (a prisoner of the Ethiopians) as the new king. M'gumbu was crowned in absentia and his eight year old son was placed on the throne in his stead by a coterie of generals. Disgusting news also reached the generals regarding the state of the provinces of Brava, Mogadishu and Scebeli. Soon after, the news came that the Indian colonies (long happily regarded as a last bastion of the state) had been overrun by the Mughals. Regardless of this, they pressed on with their evil plans.

A large Maasai army marched out the highlands of Kefa and into Adal, where they besieged the city of Jahar and its fortress, shouting insults and imprecations to the battle-weary Ethiopians inside.

Republic of Sud Afriqa: Klintun complained to the Gods and recieved some satisfaction, but doubtless not enough to mollify him, to which the Gods replied "Tough". There really was no trade with Syria. Missionary efforts were undetaken on Socotra, and in the provinces of Kedah, Lesthoso, Zanzibar and the Comoros. Of those Lesthoso and the Comoros became Catholic. To continue to war of extermination against the Ethiopians and Syrians the RSA pulled out all the stops (after a four year respite) and sent a massive fleet north to bring ruin to their enemies.

In preparation for the arrival of the massive fleet, the Sud Afriqan squadron at Socotra sailed into the Red Sea and landed a strong force of 32,000 men at Zeila to provide a staging ground for the secondary invasion. This, in concert with the previous Maasai attack into Adal, inspired the Ethiopian army at Soba to march south again to protect the highlands and swept down upon the great Masai army at Jahar in the fall of 1643. The 'great' army of 2,000 Masai evaporated upon the approach of the 70,000 Ethiopians, scattering back into the hills of Kefa. General Gorain shook his head at this and sent messengers back north to warn the Emperor that there was trickery afoot. Setting a double cavalry screen, he then advanced into Zeila to find that there were really 32,000 Sud Afriqans encamped there, drinking a lot of Asebi beer and scamming on the babes. Gorain wasted no time in attacking the walless town. The Sud Afriqans hunkered down behind the long-ago destroyed walls and let the advancing Ethiopians have it with their heavy guns. Gorain laughed mirthlessly (theres are lot of that going around these days) as the jahist fanatics were mowed down in droves, piling themselves upon the Catholic guns. Then his regulars slammed into the town from two sides and overwhelmed the well-armed but not battle-hardened Afriqans. A rout followed and the slaughter at the docks was unfortunately severe. Gorain entered the town to find that he had captured almost forty heavy guns. Shaking his head, he marched back north to Soba by the coast road, reaching the great fortress of Tabrat by the end of spring in 1644.

Meanwhile, the mighty fleet had bypassed the slaughter at Zeila and landed at Mt'Suia in Adulis only two months after the passage of the Ethiopian army back to Soba. A great number of Maasai and Afriqans poured out the ships and onto the beaches around Mt'Suia. While the main army moved inland to cover the road approach from Kazala, siege troops dug in around the city and prepared for an assault. Gorain, meantime, had hurriedly marched back from Soba and now engaged the Masai-Afriqan army in the fields and rolling hills to the west of the city. The crucial battle of Erbab Barimeya mountain (June 1644) set the 61,000 Ethiopians against 87,000 Masai-Afriqans. Gorain once more commanded the Ethiopians (who had never lost a battle in six years of constant fighting), while a collection of Afriqans and Masai commanded the others. Outnumbered, Gorain deployed his men along the ridge of the Erbab and spent the morning sighting his guns. The Masai and the Afriqans, having never fought together before, spent the morning regrouping and then attacked shortly after noon under the cover of a heavy artillery barrage. Gorain ordered counter-battery and was shocked to see that the Afriqan guns outranged his by nearly a hundred yards. As a result the Afriqan charge up the slope was not nearly as decimated by Ethiopian cannister as Gorain desired and the sound of a 100,000 men slamming into each other with fixed bayonets was thunderous. The disciplined lines of Ethiopian regulars quickly vanished in a swirling pall of white smoke and dust. The first days attacks were thrown back by the Ethiopians at a heavy cost. The second day fared no better. This time the bodies carpeted the field and the hovering flocks of vultures and buzzards blotted out the sun. The Afriqans, seeing the lines of the Ethiopians on the ridge undaunted, retired back to their siege lines at Mt'Suia. Gorain, his army nearly smashed, breathed easy for the moment and retired to Kazala to regroup and let his wounded heal. The butchers toll for the day numbered almost 90,000 men.

Mt'Suia was reduced by the Afriqan siege forces by the end of the summer, providing a strong base for their further operations in the Ethiopian heartland.

1645-1646 T159
Lybia: The Lybians watched the eastern frontier with some concern, presuming that the Egyptians would eventually notice that Ad-Diffah remained in Ethiopian hands. Sure enough, the watch beacons soon lit and carried news of a large Egyptian army marching against Tobruq. Sayyida said extra prayers at night, hoping that war did not engulf her nation as well. General Kilij went on maneuvers in the desert with his army, just in case...

The Sultanate of Egypt: Bilak, preparing to ride south to deal with some concerns in the south, paused a moment in the Palace of the Viziers in Alexandria to peruse the latest song entries from the minstrels and poets of the realm. This he chose as the finest entry amongst those submitted in 1645:

Syria, Syria, once so proud,
Hidden now in a burial shroud.
Syria, Syria, we see your shame,
Your country broken, your horses lame.
Syria, Syria, your Sultan's an ass.
Callous and cruel, he has no class.
Syria, Syria, your leaders are fools.
Stubborn and stupid, as are mules.
Syria, Syria, we fear not your attack.
You are only brave when stabbing in the back.
Syria, Syria, we've beaten you back.
You have no heart; it's courage you lack.
Syria, Syria, we fear you not.
We shall win, and you shall rot.

There was another top entry, but it was silly and made Bilak laugh aloud, so he felt that it did not evince the proper disrespect for the Syrian dogs. This done he travelled south to Suakin where he considered setting the entire province to the sword if they would not accept Islam. Unfortunately it was quite populous and instead he found himself forced to negotiate with the locals to achieve some kind of accomodation between Mohammed and Jah. He also watched in disgust as the Ethiopians retook Axum and Kordofan, powerless to stop them.

Federal Imperial Republic of Ethiopia: The Ethiopians held their heads at the news from Syria and banged them against a nearby wall. General Gorain sulked in his camps at Kazala (in Atbara) waiting for someone to do something. After a while it became clear that the Sud Afriqans in Adulis were going to spend their time digging ditches and parading around. Gorain smiled, nothing like a failure of initiative to make his day! He attacked into Axum and Kordofan, driving out the Egyptian garrisons there and liberating the cheering citizenry. Then he turned his attentions back to Adulis...

Gorain was able to mount an attack on the Sud Afriqan positions around Mt'Suia by the end of 1645. The Afriqans had been waiting for reinforcements - but they would not arrive for some months. Thus they cowered behind the rebuilt walls of the city and threw chickens and diseased pigs at the Ethiopians. Now, Gorain was disgusted again. The Afriqans had refortified the city and it was well too strong to take. Unable to mount an effective siege he fell back to Kazala and ordered up the siege train....

The Maasai Kingdom: King M'Gumbu, in the vile hands of the Ethiopians, met with a long and lingering end at the tongs, pincers and knives of the torturers of Rakat. His remains, carefully wrapped in laminate sheets of paper made from his own skin, were delivered by a Adeni merchant to Tuara's hosuehold. Tuara's guardian, the Kikuyu prince Luz Kaii, now proclaimed himself regent for the entire realm. The Masai forces at Mt'Suia watched with their Afriqan companions as the Ethiopian army marched around beyond the walls and then trailed off to the west again.

Arguments with the Gods continued. Lawyers from Masai and Afriqa argued that the provinces of Brava, Mogadishu and Scebeli had been friendly to Masai before the initial Ethiopian attack. Then they had been recaptured or abandoned during the intervening turns and so should revert to Masai control and the Shinto should be kicked out of Mogadishu and Rotai. Unfortunately for them, the Gods made a mistake on Turn 152, when Zool revolted, he was given the Masai crown and then died, causing a dynastic collapse which then returned the Kherule to power in Masai. At this point, following the usual guidelines, all provinces that were listed as Occupied should have been removed from the Masai statsheet due to the DF. Unfortunately, they were not and thus the cause of the greivance. To make it clear, if you have a DF, you lose the friendly status of regions that are occupied by another nation at that time. Brava and Scebeli remain indipendent, their cities destroyed, and Mogadishu remains in the hands of the Shinto. The Gods apologize for causing such confusion.

Republic of Sud Afriqa: Things got off on a good foot for the Afriqans with the sudden death of President Klintun while that worthy was making his morning jog around the kraal. Fortunately the succession of power had been worked out in advance and Vice-President Kwayl was able to step right in. On the war-front the efforts of the Republic to hire many mercenaries were stymied by the excessive lateness of their orders.

The Afriqan fleet once more spent a great deal of time dashing south along the coast to the home ports, loading troops and then dashing back north again to resupply Mt'Suia and the army therein. Now reinforced, the Afriqan-Masai force was able to advance into Atbara, where it found the city of Kazala crawling with Ethiopian troops. Now it was the turn of the Ethiopians to make rude noises and hurl poultry at the Afriqans. The Afriqan and Masai commanders huddled and decided that they could not afford neither to leave a hostile city behind them nor to risk a reckless assault on the city. Spies had brought them the news, further, that the entire Ethiopian army was sitting in the city. Thus, if it could be destroyed, the rest would be a cakewalk.

The southerners launched into a massive siege then, digging a vast network of tunnels, revetments and bastions to contain the city. The Ethiopians responded with thunderous artillery fire, having had their largest guns dragged into place. The siege of Kazala (April 1646) would be the critical battle of the entire war... 90,000 Afri-Masai pounded away at the 50,000 Ethiopians for the rest of 1646 before finally levelling the city defences and crushing the last bastions of resistance. Afriqan expertise at siegeworks proved the crucial factor, for the Ethiopian defence was tremendously strong. Fortunately for the survival of Ethiopia the Afriqans were able to advance no farther than Atbara province.

1647-1648 T160
Lybia: Sayyida, concerned about possible repercussions, sent a nice letter to the Egyptians indicating to them that she didn't want no trouble. The Church also indulged in a little missionary activity in the highlands of Al'Hauts but quarrelling between the Catholics and the Hussites reduced its efficency somewhat.

The Sultanate of Egypt With the Ethiopians busy with other matters and the Four using their fight song for the turn, the Egyptians had to content themselves with sending an army on river barges up the Nile to attack Mulkur in Kordofan and overrun that province as well as Axum. The inhabitants of Mulkur and Omdurman were weary and apathetic as the Langshan troops marched once more through their streets. The vigorous conversion of those provinces to Shi'a was met with little resistance, so thuroughly demoralized were the locals. It was noted by the Bashar that there were a fair number of Hussites living within Egypt and he ordered the expulsion of all Hussite clerics and priests.

Federal Imperial Republic of Ethiopia: The Ethiopians, so badly battered that they could barely stand, signed humiliating peace treaties with the Masai and the Sud Afriqans. Kuze returned to the high plains of Shoa and took up residence in the fortress of Rakat to ponder the ruin of all his dreams. Then word came that the southerners had broken their word and that their armies once more marched against him. There was little to do. Messages were sent to all of the regional commanders, exhorting them to hold to the last man... Soon after this the rats began to abandon the sinking ship; the chiefs of Lalibela and Walaga abandoned the republic immediately, and the Adowans a little later.

The Maasai Kingdom: The Masai, eager to at last put a stake through the heart of the Ethiopians, sent one army off to join in the siege of Soba, whilst another marched south from Mt'suia to attack Danakil and sweep the Red Sea coast down to Aseb in Zeila. Neither province was defended by the hapless Ethiopians and again there was a sense of relief by the populace that now, perhaps, there would be peace.

Republic of Sud Afriqa: On the Ethiopian front, while the Masai cleared the Danakil coast, two Afriqan armies attacked west again, one driving into Sennar, the other moving against Funj and the great city of Soba. The Tswanans found Fashoda in Sennar defenseless, though the citadel there resisted them. Indeed the Tswanans lacked the men to take the citadel and contented themselves with besieging it for the remainder of the year.

To the north, a similar scene played itself out at Soba, where the city remained resolute in the face of the Afriqan demands for its surrender. Lord Pellaeon, the Ethiopian commander, was bullheaded in his determination and refused all entreaties to surrender. Barak, the Afriqan commander, shrugged and ordered his men to begin siege operations. Within a day the first Afriqan guns thundered against the walls of Soba and Afriqan draken sailed over the whitewashed rooftops of the city, casting down bombs and leaflets. Soba lasted for only fifteen days once the huge Afriqan guns began working it over. Afriqan troops entered the Hall of the Senate only hours after the city had fallen to find it empty. Indeed, the entire Ethiopian government had apparently fled quite some time before. Interrogations of the living city defenders discovered that the government had been evacuated some years before, to Addis-Adaba in the highlands of Shoa. Barak grunted, he had expected something like that, and ordered his men to march once more.

Abandoning his slow siege train, Barak marched his men quickly south through Sennar where the citadel of Fashoda remained in enemy hands, and into the mountains of Shoa. after some weeks of marching the high grey and gold walls of Addis-Adaba rose up out of the morning mist. Here at last Barak found the Ethiopian army, holed up in the fortress of Rakat, looming over the city like an obelisk. The city itself, his men occupied, though many of its inhabitants had fled into the countryside. Rakat itself stood strong, its guns easily outranging his own. Barak probed around the citadel, attempting to find a weakness. it was too strong and he settled in to wear the defenders down by starvation and hopelessness.

1649-1650 T161
Federal Imperial Republic of Ethiopia: The Ethiopians were beaten upon with swords until they were plowshares...

The Maasai Kingdom: The Masai completed their part of the final destruction of the Ethiopian state with a short and victorious campaign against Adal and the city of Jahar therein. The regional defences were brushed aside and the city reduced in short order. This was followed by the untimely deaths of both Generals Lakat and Slan (bad food). The general damage to the Masai leadership continued when Prince Tuara was thrown from a horse and his skull crushed. Te Kikuyu prince, Kaii, seized control of the regency thereafter and had his various enemies arrested or executed. He was proclaimed King and Emperor at the end of 1650.

Republic of Sud Afriqa: In the Ethiopian highlands the final scene of the last act of the Great African War at last played out. Masai siege engineers and the Sud Afriqan siege guns joined up with the Sud Afriqan infantry besieging Rakat. A fierce bombardment began, chewing into the defences with frightening rapidity. The Ethiopians, however, did not surrender easily or die without cost. The reduction of the fortress was a long and bloody process. The Ethiopians knew that there would be no rescue. Only the glory of Jah guided them now. The garrison was finally exterminated to the man, even the Emperor falling under a blaze of Afriqan guns as he charged out of his hiding place with a bomb and a knife.

With the fall of Rakat the Ethiopian realm came to and end. Fashoda in Sennar surrendered and the various provinces that still hewed to the realm went indipendent. The great university of Addis-Adaba was boxed up and shipped off to the coast to be loaded onto ships bound for southern climes. Masai bureaucrats moved into to take over administration of the provinces.

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