Ife, Empire of

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Foundation: 1447-1605 (T91-T139)Dead.gif
Capital: Brass in Ife
Religion: Sunni Islam

By Rob Pierce


In 1517 (T109), the people of Tikar agreed to Ifen rule after a Ethiopian army attempted to conquer the region. When Emperor Magaherda himself appeared with the Imperial army in tow, the Ethiopian army retreated (albeit reluctantly) to Wadai. After Ethiopia erupted into civil over the Maasai secession, an insubordinate general annexed Sokoro (1527, T113) despite the Emperor's orders. Wadai was overrun and then Darfur was captured after Jaharwali's Wall (South) was breached for the first time in 300 years (T114). The Egyptians, successors to Ethiopia, counterattacked in 1534 (T115) recapturing Darfur and restoring the watch, and the border, at the wall.

The Ifen Black Fleet returned home in 1521 (T111) after the first ever circumnavigation of the world.

In the 1550's and 1560's the Ifen Empire faced an invasion of their Atlantic coastline by the Danish Empire, which succeeded in establishing the colony of Danish West Africa. The Ife attempted to drive the Danes back into the sea, but, despite initial successes, the Ifen advance was driven back from Susu to Kru.

Then, in 1566 (T126) Aztec legions landed in Takrur and quickly overran the fledgling Danish colony. The Songhai, ignoring the greater threat posed by the new invaders, decided to attack Ife themselves. The New Mexicans (as these Aztecs came to be called) promptly invaded Songhai, conquered them by 1586 (T132), and proceeded on into the Ifen Empire. By the end of the century yet another wave of Aztecs, these known as Mixtecs (and equally hostile to New Mexico), landed at the mouth of the Niger.

Beset by New Mexicans in the west and Mixtecs in the center, the crumbling Ifen Empire moved its capital south to Boma in Kongo. By 1605 (T139), the Empire had been reduced to two small stretches of coastline and a few isolated regions. Yet despite the enormity of the loss, it still came as a great surprise when a large Sud Afriqan army marched into Boma from the south to deal the final blow. With the overnight capture of the governement, including Emperor Magaherda (who was packed off to a Kalahari "retreat" someplace), what little was left of the once great Ifen Empire finally collapsed.

The History:

Still to be written.

NewsFax Entries:

1447-1450 (T91)

FIRE: The intervention of the French in the RSA/Ife war swung the rest of the Theocratic party over to the War side and the Ashkenazi government is threatened with an ouster if actions are not taken immediately.

France: The French fleet sailed south, heading for the African coasts...

Ife: Diplomacy: Duala(f)
Trade Partners: (2.5C) Songhai, Ethiopia

With the Empire beset by foreign invasion and strained by co-habitation with the Coptics, the more restive tribes of the Empire decided that this was the time to throw off their shackles and run riot in the streets... Kuba, Oyo, Vili, Mbundu, Kano, and Borogu revolted.

On the warfront, an Ifen army made a sortie into Monomatapa, encountered the FSA army and beat feet back to Lenje with the FSA in hot pursuit. Once in Lenje the Ifen and turned and, reinforced, engaged the FSA army. Unfortunately for the Ife, they were still outnumbered four-to-one and got smashed to a pulp. Having destroyed the Ife, the FSA troops returned south to Rozwi.

FSA: The French buit a great fortress complex (Castle de la Rouche) in Dyola in preparation for the ensuing war against the Ife. Opening the war against the Ife, French assassins killed Dorhazai the Sixth[1] - while their agents spread unrest and revolution in the provinces. Two mercenary armies, one under Dray of Rhodes and one under Chief Topoka, issued forth from the Castle de la Rouche and swept the African coast. Dray's army pushed through Dyola, Akan, and into Yoruba before encountering resistance in the form of 30,000 Ifen regulars. Despite the loss of all their horses and many men to the jungle fevers and the insects, Dray's troops beat the Ifen troops and drove them back into Ife itself. When Dray managed to drag his forces out of the jungle and into the Ifen deltalands he faced the remains of the previous army and another 48,000 reinforcements. The battles that resulted, as Dray's army pressed along the coast toward Lagos, climaxed at the Battle of Nuikir (9th of August, 1449) where 21,00 European mercenaries smashed 70,000 Ifen troops once more - a victory that carried them to the walls of Lagos. The ensuing seige was short and bloody, with the city falling after three days of hard fighting. The other army marched north up the coast to Kru - where they found themselves faced by 24,000 Ifen allied troops - whom they crushed with superior firepower and artillery. Temne and Susu fell soon after and Conakry had its wall blown down.

The RSA and France merged into an uneasy alliance.

(1) EDITORS NOTE: The T91 fax shows "Sixth" manually crossed out and "Seventh" written in. However, on T92, T93, T94 and T95 the fax continued to says "Sixth", despite the fact that Dorhazai VII was now in power. By the time Dorhazai VII died on T96, this error had been forgotten and Dorhazai VIII was referred to as Dorhazai the "Seventh" in the fax. I have changed the narratives here to reflect the correct numerations.

1451-1454 (T92)

FIRE: The Senate announced and "Open Door" policy for any refugees of the Coptic faith that cared to seek refuge from the France/Ife war in the FIRE. By considerable lobbying the Ashkenazi government managed to convince the Senate that the FIRE was not quite strong enough to beat France in open war. This was grudgingly accepted by the Senate, though large numbers of Coptic volunteers continued to cross into Ife to fight the French imperialists.

France: Some members of the Royal Council became alarmed when the King died, but were mollified when his half-brother assumed the throne. One of Johann's first acts was to shift the official capital of the Kingdom to the Castle de la Rouche on the fetid coast of Dyola - a move met with outraged protest from the Europeans. However, after the revolt of the RSA, the whole point was rendered moot and the capital was officially removed back to Limoges in Auvergne.

Ife: Diplomacy: Vili(t), Kano(a), Mbundu(t)
Trade Partners: (3.5C) Songhai, Ethiopia

The Ife massed huge armies and attacked the French mercenaries holding the capital and homeland. There, the formidable Dray of Rhodes was entrenched with a motley collection of French regulars and mercenaries, some 6,000 men in all (not counting maries or seige engineers). The Ifen host numbered over 42,000 men. The resulting battles and seiges were long and bloody, but the French were swept away in the Ifen tide. Dray was captured by Benin tribesmen and brought before Dorhazai, who - after a short conference - released him. Dray then returned to Europe, agreeing to abstain from accepting French contracts against the Ife in the future. Lagos fell soon after to the victorious Ifen legions. The mercenary fleet was captured and swore Oath to Galzar, and made to return north to more hospitable climes, but was destroyed in a storm off the Kruian coast.

RSA: The French caught an amazing number of FIRE spies attempting to infiltrate their armies in Africa. Luckily, no harm was done. The Viceregal army attacked Khosia and easily occupied that region. The Khosians were then converted, forcibly, to Roman Catholicism, an action that brought serious protests from the FIRE ambassador. The death of Topoka from pneumonia cancelled a French attempt to seize Kongo itself.

And while the French offensives in the north stalled, a number of SA officers and nobles were plotting in the south... Finally, on Christmas Day, 1452, the cadre of officers launched a coup that toppled the Viceroyalty and returned South Africa to its own determination. One of the officers, the last scion of a great and noble line, Hotoka assumed the office of the Emperor presiding over the duly constituted Assembly and Populace. All ties to France were repudiated and the French ambassador was sent home in a box.

1455-1458 (T93)

Ife: Diplomacy: Benue(f)
Trade Partners: (3.5C) Songhai, Ethiopia, RSA

The Ife continued to pour troops into Ife itself, preparing for an expected French counter-offensive. A peace was worked out with the RSA. The French, meanwhile, had been busy. A force of mercs under French command attacked Ife itself and was wiped out by the Ifen forces. No Legion or French regulars were in attendance, which may explain it. The French also attempted to remove the population of Yoruba (a clever move) and the natives revolted. Supported by the victorious Ifen army, the combined black armies crushed the French mercenaries and a few regulars. Kru and Temne, left ungarrisoned when the European mercenaries went home, revolted.

1459-1462 (T94)

Songhai: Diplomacy: Oyo(t)

Ife: Diplomacy: Herero(t)
Trade Partners: (5.5C) Songhai, Ethiopia, RSA

Supported by a fleet, the Ifen hosts marched on Castle de la Rouche. First the Akanese garrisons were annihilated by the Ifen, and the bodies of their captives consumed in gruesome rites. Then the Dyolan forts were reduced, each one a pyre of flame in the passage of the Ifen multitudes. Finally, the General commanding Castle de la Rouche looked doen from the high parapets to see a plain filled with the campfires of over three hundred thousand Ifen troops. Against this great host, and its attendant fleet, General Zinder had a bare 16,000 men and 150 seige guns. It was, in truth, an even fight and the seige proved to be long and terrible. In the end, though, General Zinder fell in the fighting on the Mole Forts and his garrison was put to the sword and the Castle occupied by the haeathen black hordes of the Ife. 76,000 Ifen troops had perished in the fight, as did all of the French.

1463-1466 (T95)

FIRE: The city of Jahi, long left desolate in the wastes of the Songhai [Ifen?] frontier, was repopulated and turned into a great military base. The army went on maneuvers along the western wall.

Songhai: The Songhai declared that the Capetian French had ceded them the regions of Susu, Temne, and Kru. The Ife were not pleased by this.

Ife: Diplomacy: No effect
Trade Partners: (5.5C) Songhai, Ethiopia, RSA

Ifen oceanographic efforts continued with their usual success (blub blub). A large Ifen army and fleet arrived off of Conakry and found the Songhai in possesion of the region. They fumed, but took no action ... yet.

1467-1470 (T96)

FIRE: The FIRE shuffled armies (a popular action this turn) and beefed up the defences along Jaharwali's Western Wall.

Ife: Diplomacy: Kuba(f), Kongo(f)
Trade Partners: (5.5C) Songhai, Ethiopia, RSA

The Emperor was worried by rumors of revolt and insurrection in Nupe, Kano and Kanem-Bornu - but nothing came of it so he forgot about it[2]. Another Dorhazai died (murdered by his uncle) and a new one assumed the throne. Ifen engineers began the slow task of rebuilding Castle Roach. In big news, the Ife finally finished converting the Kongo to Islam, causing the conversion of all Kongo provinces.

(2) EDITORS NOTE: Could this have been a failed Ethiopian attempt to Cause Unrest?

1471-1474 (T97)

Ife: Diplomacy: No effect
Trade Partners: (5.5C) Songhai, Ethiopia, RSA, Angevin France

The Oyese chased off an Ifen probe.

1475-1478 (T98)

Ife: Diplomacy: No effect
Trade Partners: (5.5C) Songhai, Ethiopia, RSA, Sweden

The Ife made another foray into Oyo, but the natives turned them back once more.

1479-1482 (T99)

Ife: Diplomacy: No effect
Trade Partners: (5.5C) Ethiopia, RSA, Sweden

Lagos, in Ife, was expanded to a [5] and renamed Brass. 15,000 Ifen troops invaded and conquered Oyo, causing the Songhai some considerable excitement. The Ifen fleet made a show of force off of Temne.

The Kings

  • Magaherda V 1602-1605
  • (unknown) 1542-1601
  • Magaherda III 1540-1541
  • Magaherda II 1522-1540
  • Magaherda 1506-1522
  • Hoka II 1489-1506
  • Hoka 1485-1489
  • Dorhazai VIII 1467-1485
  • Dorhazai VII 1447-1467
  • Dorhazai VI 1447-1447

The Players

  • T138-T139 (1602-1605) (open)
  • T118-T137 (1542-1601) (unknown)
  • T93-T117 (1455-1541) Scott Glener
  • T91-T92 (1447-1454) (unknown)

Last updated: 22 October 2002

© 2002 Robert Pierce

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