Syria, Sultanate of

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Foundation: 1447-1666 (T91-T???)Dead.gif
Capital: Baghdad (from 1472), Jerusalem (to 1472)
Religion: Islam

By Rob Pierce


The Syrians appeared after 1420 and came to defeat the Jalayrid Sultanate to take control of the fertile crescent. They were defeated in the 1700s and replaced in the Middle East by the Kingdom of Georgia.

The History:

Still to be written.

NewsFax Entries:

1447-1450 (T91)

Luzon: The Taira dispatched a fleet to the west.

Jalayrids: An attempt by Khemeni to move the population of Mardin was met by a storm of arrows and a number of dead cats as the populace, under their new Vizier, had no intention of leaving their homes. The inhabitants of Nineveh and Al-Wan responded similarly. The Haji at Mecca didn't even listen to the entreaties of the local Jalayrid commander. Meanwhile, in the highlands of Anatolia, some alert Ottoman border guards found themselves the proud possessors of a great deal of Jalayrid gold that had been sent off to pay the army at Tripoli. Thanking the Syrian ambassador for the handy tip, the gold was trundled off to the Imperial treasury.

The Jalayrid army at Tripoli thus found itself without funds to pay its troops or money to pay for food for its multitudes. the army commander ordered the looting of the region, in an attempt to gain the funds - but it proved too little to pay his 60,000 men. Attempts to convince those unpaid to continue to fight fell on deaf ears as the army began to disintegrate. The Abadani contingent was the first to desert, vanishing in the middle of the night.

The forces under the command of Prince Hussien of Shiraz, however, were well supplied with gold and reinforced with a vast number of mercenaries. This army marched north out of Arabia, picking up the garrisons of Hejaz and Medina, and reached the Petran border with some 75,000 troops.

A gang of Jalayrid artillerists wound up stranded on Cyprus without the price of tickets home after they found Tripoli held against them and their hired ships left them.

Syria: Diplomacy: See below...
Trade Partners: (10C) Ethiopia, Novgorod, Denmark, France, Iberia, Sweden, Berbers, Corsica, Aleppo [2C]

The failure of the Syrians to acquire their mercenary contingents, meantime, had led to the collapse of many of their plans. One of them, carried out by the Assassins, succeeded however and the beleaugered commander of the Jalayrid army in Tripoli found himself faced by a popular revolt even as his army disintegrated under him. While the populace took up arms, a small force of French Foreign Legionnaires under a Syrian commander arrived to provide a core for the rebels. In the ensuing campaign the Jalayrid cause completely collapsed when the Jalayrid general was shot down by the FFL troops in a skermish. With him gone, the motley force of Tripolitanians and French mercenaries mopped up the remainder of the loyal Jalayrid troops. The arrival of the Aleppan army soon after saw order restored and, with liberal disbursement of funds, the wandering bands of Jalayrid troops who had previously deserted were enlisted in the Syrian army. In all, 4,000 French Legionnaires and 9,000 peasants had defeated 53,000 Jalayrid troops.

The Jalaryrid Army of Arabia swept across Petra and into the Levant. There they encountered the Syrian army, fresh from the Tripoli campaign. The two great armies clashed at 'En Gedi on the shores of the Dead Sea (24th of April, 1448 AD). Though the battle was between the Syrian and Jalayrid empires - in fact - none of their native troops participated, save a few Syrian police from 'En Gedi itself. The Syrian army was commanded by the great Sala'Udin and Khan Hekaz of the Aleppans and consisted of 7,000 Aleppan turkic cavalry, 7,500 Aleppan turkic infantry, 5,000 French Foreign Legionnaires (all infantry), 25,000 ex-Jalayrid cavalry, 16,500 ex-Jalayrid infantry, and some 7,500 miscellaneous Levantine militia and police. The Jalayrids, on the other hand, fielded 16,500 Shirazi Persian kataphaktoi, 42,500 Turkic cavalry (all mercenaries from the northern tribes - mostly Avars and Scythians, though there were 1,000 Muscatis and 650 Nubians present), 7,000 Anatolian hillmen (mercenaries fighting on foot with great axes), 60 artillery pieces crewed by Saracen Italians, and 3,500 Khwarzimian seige engineers under Prince Hussien of Shiraz and Bey Muspatpha of Fars. By the end of the morning, the Jalayrid host had shattered itself in a terrific charge against the French Legionnaires (who had dug in on a hilltop) and had suffered 51,000 casualties in dead, wounded and incapacitated as well as the loss of Prince Hussien (shot down as he led his kataphraktoi into the thick of the fight on the right flank with the Aleppan Turks). The Syrians had lost only 7,000 men (all ex-Jalayrid infantry) and - more importantly - Sala'Udin (pierced with many arrows during the fight on the Red Mount), Khan Hekaz (gutted by a Shirazi lancer during the Great Melee on the right flank), and Prince Nidal (leader of the FFL during the Triploli revolt) had been captured by the Jalayrids. The sole remaining Syrian leader, the elderly Vizier ibn-Serad, had suffered a serious wound during the fighting in 'En Gedi itself and was in no shape to lead the army. During the afternoon Bey Muspatpha rallied his remnants and impress the Khwarz seige engineers as infantry and attacked on the shore side of 'En Gedi. The Syrians, taken by surprise, were broken and hundreds were killed while they fled for the ridge and the positions of the Legion. Muspatpha led a charge into the confused mass of the Syrians and managed to drive them from the Red Mount before a Legion sharpshooter shot him from his saddle. The Vizier ibn-Serad had fallen in the initial fighting and both armies were now locked in a mutual melee, leaderless. By nightfall the discipline of the Legion had proven itself superior to the ragged mobs of the Jalayrid mercenaries and the Syrians held the field. Both the Syrian and Jalayrid hosts had been annihilated by the massive battle, with only 4,000 Legion troopers and 2,500 Aleppan cavalry remaining. The Aleppans went home, carrying their dead leader upon a bier of spears. The Legion troopers marched back to Gaza and prepared to take ship for their next assignment.

Sweden: In the business news, the Kruppson arms cartel was purchased from its private owners (the venerable Kruppson family) by a consortium of French, Danish, Syrian and Iberian merchant houses.

France: The Kingdom of France announced the formation of the French Foreign Legion and its availability as a special Mercenary force. Indeed, no sooner had it been established that a portion of it had been hired to fight in the interminable wars in the Mid-East. Follet ArmsWorks Bulletin: To the leaders of Europe! We offer you an alternative to the steep Kruppson prices for your much needed artillery prices! Pay only 4gp for an artillery unit and only 6gp per unit for Elite Artillery. You provide the NFP, we provide the guns and training, you get them the same turn. Tired of having no choices but to go to the Swedes? We sell for less and to anyone! Count on Follet for quality!

Follet branches exist in: All French cities, London, Dublin, Koln, Venice, Munchen, Stockholm, Novgorod, Kiev, Cairo, and New Paris. Units may be purchased at any of these cities (depending on the local political climate, of course).

Berbers: The Greek islands were returned to the Berbers after their Jalayrid garrison deserted. On the 8th of July 1447, the Lady Fatima married the Sultan David al-Roi in a festive ceremony in the great Palacio in Palermo. After a short honeymoon, each monarch returned home to their respective nations. Fatima soon became pregnant and delivered of a bouncing baby boy in April of 1448, a boy heir to the throne of the Berber Emirates and possibly the Syrian Sultanate...

1451-1454 (T92)

Jalayrids: The Japanese fleet landed at Kuwait and evacuated a number of high Jalayrid nobles and relatives of the Sultan, but was unable to rescue more due to the fact that they had no room upon their somewhat cramped fleet. Khemeni, meanwhile, had gathered his few remaining retainers together and had determined to escape to the promised safety of the Japanese fleet. When Khemeni did not reach the rendezvous at Kuwait, the remaining nobles chose one of their own, Resa Pahlavi, to be the Sultan.

Syria: Diplomacy: None
Trade Partners: (3C) Ethiopia, Novgorod, Denmark, France, Iberia, Sweden, Berbers, Corsica

Continuing its voyage, the Japanese expedition sailed up Necho's Canal and docked at Cairo - where the brightly caprisoned Samurai made a big hit with the local nobles. Orders were placed for a number of cannon at the Follet factory, but the lack of space aboard the fleet again prevented the Japs from making off with the goods.

David al-Roi II started the turn off with a bang by dying of a heart attack on the morning that he was to leave for the Berber Emirates to visit his new wife. Meanwhile, over in Oran (beautiful capital of the Berber Emirates) Fatima had opened divorce proceedings in the courts and had abdicated the throne in favor of the youth, Yeshua (now all of three years old). The Syrian lawyers were waiting for Fatima, however, and produced sufficient reams of Islamic law to show that she could not divorce David while he provided child support and did not do really nasty things to her. Dave's death made all that moot, though. Three weeks after Dave's death, his three sons of his previous marriage were found dead in a bath house in the lower city of Damascus and the fat was squarely in the fire. At this point the boy, Yeshua, was technically the heir to both thrones - David's death and Fatima's abdication being more or less simultaneous. His regent, the Comte Du'Dascoyne - Commander of the French Foreign Legion and a man of honor, was in a serious fix with trying to arrange some kind of deal between the relatives of both families and the usual power brokers.

While serious deliberations were underway in Oran, the death spree in Syria was in full swing as the Assassins methodically axed, icepicked, drowned, blew-up, garroted, knifed, hanged, shot, burnt, and poisoned every highly placed Syrian leader, noble or relative of the late David al-Roi. Not to be outdone in the dirty tricks, Hezekiah the Prophet (a crazed yet convincing Cistercian monk) was rabble-rousing in the Berber Emirates - touting the boy-king Yeshua as the successor of the Al Roi and Caliph of the East (not to mention Emir of the Berbers and Sultan of Syria). He was eventually wasted by an Assassin killman team, but not before he had started a movement in the Emirates in favor of the Roiist faction. Similarly, the Fatimists had been at it in Syria, pushing the "Yeshua, King of the Berbers and the Syrians" idea. Eventually, after all was said and done, and about 700 gold had been spent by all concerned, it came down to: Who gets the kid? The Roiists (what's left of them) or the Fatamists?

Then Yeshua caught pneumonia and died at the age of four.

Well. That upset everyone's apple-cart and rendered it all a fat waste of time. With no heir to either throne, everything was up in the air again. Fatima reassumed the throne, whereupon the Syrian lawyers agreed to her divorce. Syria trembled on the edge of an internal civil war for a year and then managed to choose a new Sultan. The Roiists in Berber were quashed by the army and peace was restored there. The Fatimists in Syria, lacking a rallying point, also faded out. A mammoth civil war had been averted, as well as numerous dynastic takeover attempts.

Oh, and the Death visited from both Berber and the FIRE and did a great deal of damage.

Sweden: The Swedish Ministry of Trade regretfully announced that a four year moratorium on trade with Iberia, France and Denmark - remarking that it simply was not profitable for Sweden to trade with those worthy nations at the moment. The French protested the "heavy handed treatment of the war-mongering Swedish government!" In other news the Swedes engaged in a new rearmament program, bringing the frontier defence forces up to snuff. Further annoying their neighbors, the Kalmar Senate passed (in a storm of outrage) the Foreign Investor Act of 1449. The bill prohibited any non-Swedish citizen from owning a controlling interest in any Swedish firm. All members of foreign governments and representatives of foreign governments were prohibited from having ANY interest in any Swedish businesses. The English protested the law, as it meant that the chocolate factory owned by the Duchess of Winsor in Malmo was appropriated. The French, Iberian and Syrians protested right and left of course, and the courts were choked with lawyers and shysters of all kinds. Also in the Kruppson news, the firm suffered from an unexplained and damaging exodus of itsalchemists, forgers, smiths, and other trained personnel. By the end of 1453 the trained core of the company had left - leaving only managers, bureaucrats and salesmen. The Swedish government also cancelled all arms procurement contracts with the company. As a result the company collapsed by the end of 1454 and declared bankruptcy. The foreign consortiu took a bath on the stocks when the KS stock dropped sixteen points on the Lubeck exchange and then vanished from the boards.

1455-1458 (T93)

Luzon: The Japanese minded their own business and recalled their fleet from Egypt.

Syria: Diplomacy: None
Trade Partners: (6C) Ethiopia, Novgorod, Denmark, France, Iberia, Sweden, Berbers, Corsica

The Syrians were once more subjected to a methodical and efficient elimination of their ruling hierarchy, including the Sultan. With this latest series of outrages, the government was forced to shift over to acquiring its leaders from the Merchant Houses and the small civil service. Once again, the actions of the Assassins prevented the Syrians from getting anything done. The Syrians did manage to purchase the old Jalayrid holdings from the Islamic bankers, however. All those areas revolted soon afterwards, however.

Berbers: A Syrian sponsored revolt on Sicily failed as there was no leader to support it.

1459-1462 (T94)

HIR: The armies of the Republic had their act together and - flushed with success - invaded Media (which they crushed like a rotten sul-fruit) and then came down out of the highlands and hills of Iran to defeat the armies of the Emirate of Abadan at the battle of Cstesiphon and finally bring the Khwarzim Turk to the great ocean... Basra is besieged but defiant.

Syria: Diplomacy: The Aleppan Shah politely refused to join Syria
Trade Partners: (6C) Ethiopia, Novgorod, Denmark, Capetian France, Iberia, Sweden, Berbers, Corsica, Aleppo [2C], HIR

The Syrians, having had their government and nobility slaughtered by the Assassins in the past decade, found themselves forced to invest more power and responsibility in the major merchant houses and trading guilds - as these were the only remaining institutions with the education and power to sustain the government. Ibn-Haram also watched in disgust and thinly disguised anger as the HIR invaded and occupied Abadan. The new merchant government also declared the Order of the Assassins outlaws within Syria and membership in that Order to be punishable by death (a safe move, considering). They also reduced the taxes on the import and export of goods, as well as slashing local taxes and duties. All this made them very popular with everyone except some government officials who worked for Taxes and Duties. All persons possessing an educaion from an accredited University were also relieved of the burden of paying taxes. A prosperous trade in forged documents and phoney universities resulted. The ravages of the Plague passed.

Having newly fortified Necho's Canal, the Syrians were interested to note that a fleet of some two hundred Danish warships, heavily laden with men and equipment, passed through in 1460. This unusual event assumed greater importance when it was later revealed, in 1462, that the Maori fleet sent to Venice had been scrapped and its crews transferred to Danish ships...

FIRE: The First Citizen announced that the region of Adulis has been selected by the Senate to be the site of a Coptic Holy City, by the name of New Salem. This idea was rell received, though most of the theologians and historical pundits felt that the present Coptic Holy City (Alexandria) should be honored instead. The Senate is considering.

Ottomans: Diplomacy: The Aleppans also refused to join the Turks

Berbers: Fighting southaway led to a migration of the Taureg tribes into the region of Merrakesh - an event that did not please the Berbers at all. The Taureg ignored the Swedish port of Grasland and marched on Fez itself. As the Berber army was watching the Syrians, they did not respond in time to prevent Fez from being besieged by the Taureg. When they did arrive, however, they attacked the Taureg seige lines and defeated them. With this latest defeat the Taureg dissolved, returning to the deserts of the Sahara, raiding and stealing.

1463-1466 (T95)

HIR: Unfortunately for the plans of the Majlis the Syrians had hired all the mercenary warships to further their plans in the Mediterranean, and thus the free city of Basra remained so.

Syria: Diplomacy: Bahrain(t), The Shah of Aleppo politely refused the gifts.
Trade Partners: (13C) Ethiopia, Novgorod, Denmark, Angevin France, Iberia, Sweden, Berbers, Corsica, Ottomans, HIR, Malta / (1C) HIR, India

Dray of Rhodes and his cohorts from the Legion waved a temporary farewell to the Shah of Aleppo and the port-girls and sailed west and into legend...

FIRE: In the Senate, the debate continued over the location of the proposed Holy City, with the EPP suggesting that it be built in Makurra, so as to be as close as possible to Alexandria. The northern church leaders replied "if its going to be that close, why not make it in Alexandria anyway?". The military then politely reminded the august members of the Senate that Alexandria was in the hands of the Islamic Syrians and that it was not a good idea. This provided an opening for the militant theocrats to urge military action to reclaim the old Holy City. They were shouted down. Once put to a vote, the moderates won out and the site of Luxor was chosen to house the new city.

Ottomans: A great state holiday was declared upon the marriage of Suleiman to the daughter of the Shah of Aleppo. This, and the exchange of many gifts and other concerns, saw the return of Aleppo to the Ottoman camp. The Emperor has pledged to allow Dray of Rhodes and his mercenary army to base there without hindrance or tax in perpetuity.

Berbers: The BEOS failed to prevent the Syrian sponsored revolt on Sicily and barely had the main fleet arrived with the army when Dray and the Legion hove into view, eager to liberate the island from the "evil Berbers". Facing the 15,000 French and 1,600 Syrians that landed near the ruins of Syracuse were faced 39,000 mixed Berber troops (10,000 Algerians, 6,000 Capitanians, 10,000 Danish mercenaries, and 13,000 Berbers). A dual land and sea battle rapidly developed with Dray, the sole Syrian commander, fighting forst on land - where the Legion once more proved its worth, thrashing the motley Arabs soundly. While the Berbers fell back to Palermo (still without walls) the fleet action was in full swing. Luckinly for the Syrians Dray had hired Sir Dorian Hawkwood on the side and he led the Legion fleet against the Berber galleys. Outnumbered by three to one, the English-built Legion warships battled the Berbers to a standstill. At the height of the sea-fight Sir Dorian was felled by a Berber axeman and Atabeg Hafsi and Admiral Al-Jahiz were killed by a well placed naptha-tar bomb. Meanwhile, the Legion had approached the gates to Palermo, where they found the Berbers regrouped before the slums on the outskirts of the city. Another battle resulted and this time the Berber numbers told and the Legion's advance was brought to a standstill. Dray, caught in a Berber cavalry charge, was thumped on the head and taken captive. The Legion retreated back to the Syracusian beaches. Dray, meanwhile, had escaped with the aid of a slave girl and three melons and retook command of his forces on the beaches just as the Berber troops attacked. The Legion once more bested the Berbers, turning back their cavalry charges in a storm of gunfire and grapeshot. This battle saw the end of the Berber armies and Palermo fell to the Legion late in 1463. With this, the Legion concluded its service with the Syrian government and debarked for France - where there were more contracts awaiting them...

1467-1470 (T96)

HIR: Elsewhere, the siege of Basra continued without change, and certain frontier provinces - no longer watched by the careful eye of Judai - began to slip away. The southern army, meanwhile, had tired of the siege and decided to conquer Fars as to extend the beachfront territory available to them. The Farsi did not like this, but could say little about it. Abas joined Basra on the "sieged cities" list.

Syria: Diplomacy: Tripoli(a)
Trade Partners: (13C) Ethiopia, Novgorod, Denmark, Angevin France, Iberia, Sweden, Berbers, Corsica, Ottomans, Malta, India

The Syrians started the turn in fine style with the death of Ahmed and the ascension of his brother, Fazail, to the head of the Council. This sad event was followed by the loss of a courier ship carrying gold to the beleaguered commander of the army in Sicily (with which he was to hire mercenaries) in a storm. Several Syrian ambassadors were not well received in the courts of the Emirs of Araby. On the other hand, the transferral of a great deal of gold and the weakening of the central HIR bureaucracy with the passage of the Imam Judai, caused the Bey Halif, commander of the HIR army at Abadan to lift the seige and take service under the Syrian flag. He immediately left for an extended vacation in Egypt. With the seige lifted, the Abadanis were reunited with their bretheren in Basra and everyone welcomed the Syrians as good-buddy-friends. This caused the various HIR armies in Fars to be suddenly cut off, however, and they found themselves in a state of revolt. The Shahs of Khokhand and Kuldja revolted instantly and put the other, loyal, commanders to death. They then marched north, through Abadan - where the Syrians waved and supplied them with provisions and women - and then north through Media, Persia and Nishapur top come down onto the plains around Bukhara where they encamped at the end of 1469. Kuldja and Khokhand revolted as soon as word reached them of the various events.

Meanwhile, on Sicily, the poor commander of the Syrian garrison there received news that a great host of Berbers was crossing the Straits of Messina and he could do nothing...

Berbers: The pitiful Syrian garrison in Palermo was rooted out of its hole by a large force of Berbers and destroyed. That war seemed to have been ended, but a new one was just beginning...

1471-1474 (T97)

Syria: Diplomacy: Leader swallowed by southern desert, Bahrain(a)
Trade Partners: (6C) Ethiopia, Novgorod, Denmark, Angevin France, Iberia, Ottomans, India, HIR, England, Gascony

A number of Berber spies were expelled from this life in a messy and colorful manner. The old Capetian French armaments factory at Cairo was nationalized by the Guild Council, an action that met with much protest and disagreement in the Council. This was exacerbated by rioting in Alexandria and Cairo by the Coptic minorities there. Rioting that presaged larger acts...

FIRE: Various debates within the Religious councils of the FIRE Senate were partially stilled with the construction of the new Coptic Holy City of New Salem on the coast of Makurra. Some radical elements, however, continued to agitate for the recapturing of Alexandria from the Syrians. These factions were quieted by the rescue of Alexandria and the shrines there from the Arab threat in 1474 by the Northern Army.

Berbers: Hussien and his advisors, tired of the endless machinations regarding the Syrians, decided to go for the throat. To this end, they picked up the Legion's contract after Marseilles had been seized, and dispatched them to the Middle East - along with numerous other armies. The minor rioting on the part of the Coptic minorities in Egypt broke out into general civil war between the Copts and the Arabs there. This was followed by the intervention of the FIRE northern army to protect both the Coptic populations there and the shrines at Alexandria. With the arrival of the Coptic army, the various Arab rioting groups were crushed and the region placed under "temporary" FIRE administration. The army commanded by the Persian general Halif, meanwhile, kept itself aloof from the internal squabbles - except for sacking Cairo and confiscating all the artillery they could find. Now in open rebellion against everyone, and refusing Berber offers of alliance, Halif and his troops marched west, declaring a Shi'ite nation. To this end, the Persians overran Cyrenaicea, Tripolitania, Marzuk, and Lybia.

In Levant, meantime, the Legion had landed, accompanied by the Berber fleet and Algerian army. the landings (at Yafo and Gaza) were opposed by the army of the Emir of Tripoli, who had the misfortune to meet the Bey of the Algerians in battle on the beaches of Yafo and be dealt a permanent lesson in warfare. With the Emir's death and the destruction of his army, his lands were inherited by the grandson of the Syrian sultan. The combined Berber forces seized Jerusalem three months after landing in the Holy Land. A selective and efficient sack followed, with the various Holy Shrines being left unviolated and pristine while the city itself was drenched with blood and stripped to the bone. The Syrian government relocated to Baghdad. Undaunted by the Syrian resistance, the Berber forces marched up the road to Damascus to find that city defended by a pitiful few Syrian garrison troopers. The ensuing seige lasted four weeks, before the Berber seige artillery breached the walls and the Syrians were driven, screaming, from the battlements. The fall, and sack, of Damascus were not a pretty sight - the Legions' looting of the city was brutal and thorough, leaving barely a stone upon a stone.

But wait, there's more! The Aztec fleet at the sea-side fortress of Tezcomal found itself lacking in funds to pay and supply its 120,000-odd thousand troops. The commander of the Lightning Legion, one Aleichem Topomotac, decided that the only recourse available to him was to forget his distant and obviously uncaring masters and form his own realm. His men were more than amenable to this - for the Moroccan climate was pleasing and the women pretty. The result was the foundation of the mercenary/robber kingdom of Tezcatlipan.

1475-1478 (T98)

Syria: Diplomacy: None
Trade Partners: (6C) Ethiopia, Novgorod, Denmark, Angevin France, Iberia, Ottomans, India, HIR, England, Gascony

The Syrians, enraged at the latest perfidy of the Berbers, massed what armies could be massed and counter-attacked! A nefarious attempt by Berber agents to steal the monies used for the hiring of mercenaries was barely foiled by alert Syrian accountants. Marching into Syria, however, they were pleased to find that the French Foreign Legion and the Berber lackeys had pulled back to Levant, though the ruins of Damascus brought a tear to every eye. Pressing on, the Syrians and their Bahraini allies moved into Levant to find that land defended by the Berber Army of the East. The Legion had since taken ship for more fun in the west. A merry brawl ensued and the preponderance of Syrian artillery proved effective against the Berber castles, turning them into rubble with alarming alacrity. The Levant was resecured and there was much rejoicing.

FIRE: The Egypt question caused a great deal of ferment in the councils of the Senate and the inexplicable indecision of the Woudiver government led to the adoption of a policy of "wait-and-see". This resulted in the FIRE army remaining in Egypt, where it engaged in training excercises. And the reconstruction of the city of Alexandria upon its ancient site by funds allocated by the War Theocrat and Fringe parties.

Berbers: Who can say in what manner works the mind of a monarch? Having wounded the Syrians, the Berbers next turned their attentions to the Danes...

1479-1482 (T99)

Mongol Empire: The Celestial Host ended its march with the seizure of the region of Khotan from the HIR - a move that caused extreme and violent outbreaks of paranoia on the part of the Majlis. The Ever-Victorious Celestial Host is now one turn from Khwarzim, and two turns from Baghdad, Moscow or Istanbul.

Syria: Diplomacy: Petra(t), Hejaz(t), Medina(t)
Trade Partners: (6C) Novgorod, Denmark, Iberia, Ottomans, India, Maori, HIR, England, Gascony

The Syrians got fed up with the FIRE dragging its feet over Egypt and sent their entire army across the Sinai to recapture the region and the canal. A mercenary fleet also closed off the canal and Alexandria to Coptic merchant shipping, resulting in the closure of Coptic Mediterranean trade.

Meanwhile, Faisal died on campaign of scurvy and his brother Abu Karasid took his place as head of the Guild Council and Sultan.

FIRE: The FIRE Senate was surprised at the Syrian attack, though the members of the Imperialist party therein were not and it gave them a big boost in the elections as they were campaigning on a platform of "Peace Through Strength". But the results of the election will have to wait a moment as the fighting is just now drawing to a climax on the sunny shores of the Nile, where our special correspondent is now waiting...

Well Jimu, it looks like those 28,000 rabid Syrians are advancing under fire from their whopping backup of 600 field pieces and the mercenary fleet that is doing the Merchant Parties coffers so much damage is also lending a hand! On our side of the field there are 75,000 Killer-Copts backed by 150 guns. And there's the kickoff! And the Coptic front liine has buried the Syrians, despite the storm of artillery fire backing them up and the Syrians are fleeing and the Copts are killing and the river is filling with blood...

By evacuating the remainder of their artillery the Syrians managed to escape the debacle and fall back to Levant to grumble and fume. The results of the victory at Jeballa in 1481 was to propell the Imperialists to power in a stunning electoral victory. Allied with the War Theocracy party a new government was installed, headed by the General of Armies Karsis Prjambatta who promised, upon taking office, to provide "Prosperity and Freedom through Strength".

1483-1486 (T100)

Syria: Diplomacy: Kuwait(t), Petra(f)
Trade Partners: (6C) Ottomans, HIR

The Syrians, denied their mercenaries by FIRE expenditures, sat in Levant and awaited the end. The mercenary fleet off of Egypt went off to work for the Ethiops.

FIRE: The FIRE merc fleet spent the turn raiding the Levantine and Tripoli coast and generally interdicting Syrian shipping. The ships of other nations were turned back from the 'war zone'. Similarly, the Persian Gulf was aswarm with Ethiopian privateers operating under letters of marque from the Senate. Citizen Phrambatta sent a note to the Syrian Merchant Council advising them that hostilities were fruitless and that the FIRE could not, at this time, return Egypt to Syrian hands. There was no action in Egypt as the FIRE army sat around and stared across the desert at the Syrians. General Khilali (commander of the FIRE army there) was kidnapped by the Syrians and locked up in Baghdad.

In the four-year elections the Imperialists were seen by many as having 'wimped-out' in not attacking the Syrians while they were down for the count. The result, was a reversion from the war hysteria to a more normal grouping of seats in the Senate. This time, however, the Populists and Merchants could not convince the Peace Theocrats to join a coalition government -- and neither could the Imperialists and War Theocrats. This left both opposing parties without a majority, and thus no First Citizen could be elected. Luckily for the Ethiopians, Prelate Dherwali won the second [secret, non-party aligned] vote and became the new First Citizen. The Prelate's first action, following his inauguration, was to call for the recapture of the last Coptic Holy Place not in FIRE hands - Jerusalem. The Populists-Merchants-Peace Theocrats voted this down, however, and this left things in a deadlock as the new turn dawned...

1487-1490 (T101)

India: The Indian fleet made a sortie into the Persian Gulf to deliver war materiel and gold to the beleaguered Syrian kingdom. Unfortunately, Basra had already fallen into the hands of the Ottomans when they arrived, so the supplies were offloaded in Bahrain.

Syria: Diplomacy: No effect
Trade Partners: (2+0C) HIR, Ethiopia, India

The Syrians meddled in Ethiopian politics and braced for the Ottoman onslaught...

FIRE: On the political front, the Imperialist party attempted to convince the Senate that - in an amazing about face on foreign policy - the Syrians should be given Egypt and that Alexandria should be abandoned and the people there removed to New Salem in Makurra. This pleased the Populists and Merchants, but immediately broke the Imperialists into two camps and drove the War Theocrats away (they formed their own voting block). While the Senate argued, the officers of the Imperial army in Egypt were arguing amongst themselves. Many favored peace, while others demanded that "Egypt is ours! We took it, we'll keep it!".

Then, things went to hell upon the arrival of First Citizen Phrambatta in Alexandria to sign over the region to the Syrians. Concurrent with the arrival of the Citizen, a huge scandal erupted in in Addis Ababba. The Daily News reported that the Imperialists were neck-deep in collusion with the Syrians in an attempt to discredit the Populist and Merchant parties. The result was an immediate emergency election in the Senate. The Populist/Merchant alliance and the Imperialists were out in the cold as the Theocrats assumed the First Citizenship. The Imperialist-negotiated treaty was rejected and the Syrians told that "Ethiopia will never surrender Alexandria or Egypt!". In response the Syrians whimpered.

Ottomans: The Ottomans, in a sudden burst of activity, poured across the Syrian frontier in a bid to be historical! One Ottoman army of 60,000 Jannisaries swept into Palmyra down the old Highway and ran into and over 5,000 Syrians garrisoning the Highway junction. Syria fell next (and the Ottomans were annoyed to see that Damasacus was in ruins). Detouring through Jordan to secure that region, the Ottomans crossed into Levant to find the Syrian army and the majority of their leaders dug in in the hills of Galilee with a mess of artillery and many forts. The resultant campaign lasted two bloody years before the Ottoman numbers ground the last of the Syrians from their holes in the Palestinian hills. Abu Karasid and several of his lackeys fled south to Medina, where they took sanctuary at Mecca. Unfortunately for the Syrian cause, Abu Karasid died in exile in Mecca in 1490 and was survived only by his six year old son. Leadership of the Syrian cause fell to the Emir of Bahrain. Tripoli was annexed by a minor Ottoman cavalry force.

Along the Tigris-Euphrates another Ottoman army of 46,000 poured out of Kurdistan and overran Mosul, isolating Kirkuk, and marched into Mesopotamia to hammer on the gate of Baghdad. Leaving the Georgian army to besiege Baghdad, the remainder of the army continued on to Abadan and laid siege to Basra - which surrendered after only a few months. Kirkuk in Mosul also surrendered after a year siege. Baghdad continues to resist, however.

Suleiman III died as his dreams of a trans-Levantine empire at last came to fruition, and was replaced by his son Suleiman IV.

1491-1494 (T102)

India: The Indians decided to take a bigger hand in the Syrian War and dispatched an expeditionary force to Bahrain, where they landed 25,000 men to aid the Syrians and sent a fleet around Arabia to Mecca (where they loaded a large number of crates, boxes, barrels and wagons onto their ships).

HIR: After some preparation, the armies of the Republic crossed over the Iraqi hills into the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates, heading for the Mediterranean and destiny!

Syria: Diplomacy: See Ottoman results!
Trade Partners: (2+0C) Ethiopia*, India*

The Syrians braced for more Ottoman action!

FIRE: Egypt became fully Coptic.

Ottomans: The Ottomans, intending to keep what they had gained, dispatched another army into the Fertile Crescent from Psidia and prepared for Syrian trickery!

In the south, one Ottoman army pressed down the western coast of Araby, heading for Mecca, while the army in Basra ground south into Bahrain to crush the last center of Syrian resistance.

But those tricky Syrian devils were not yet defeated! No indeed. While Ottoman armies marched hither and yon, the Syrian leader in Baghdad (secretly supplied with money) made a quiet visit to the Emir of Georgia and, after much money had passed hands, convinced him that he should go home. Thus, in early 1491, the Georgians pulled up their tentstakes and marched away, leaving Baghdad once more free. Further, Mosul - which had been garrisoned by Georgians - was also liberated! The Ottoman army at Basra, hearing of this foul defection, turned around and marched north into Mesopotamia - where that same tricky Syrian leader met them and offered vast sums of gold and women and glory and like that. It didn't work. But, before the regions could be retaken, the HIR armies swept down upon the hapless Ottomans. 56,500 HIR infantry marched on Baghdad - while 120,000 HIR cavalry rode through Abadan and then swung north in search of the Ottoman host. The Ottoman general, meantime, found himself trapped between two hostile armies and made a break north along the highway. The HIR infantry failed to cut him off and the Ottomans escaped the trap, falling back to Palmyra. The armies of the Majlis mopped up Abadan and Mesopotamia and - after the Syrain commander refused them admission to Baghdad - besieged that city. Baghdad, defended by 14,000 Syrians, held out for a year before the 57,000 HIR troops reduced the walls to rubble and stormed through the streets in a frenzy of looting and rapine.

The HIR cavalry army had pressed on in pursuit of the retreating Ottomans and, following the highway, reached the road nexus in Palmyra just as the Ottoman armies regrouped and moved south down the road. The Levantine army and a new army of Jannisaries led by Suleiman the Fourth had reinforced the Basran army. The two hosts clashed at Sarn-el-geddi on the Circian frontier. 120,000 HIR cavalry and 92,000 Ottoman troops battled for a day and night before the superior Ottoman leadership pulled a victory out of the broil of charge and counter-charge. But it was not without cost, for the Ottomans had lost 45,000 men, and one general was dead and another sorely wounded. For their part, the HIR had lost the Emir of Iran, 80,000 dead or wounded, and the Bey of Khurasan captured by the Ottomans and in gaol. The HIR armies retired to Circis to lick their wounds and regroup. There they were soon reinforced by the infantry army that had been besieging Baghdad, but they had run out of time...

Mosul, abandoned by the Georgians and retaken by no one, reverted to Syrian control. The Indian Persian Gulf Expeditionary Force (IPGEF) remained in Bahrain and watched the events to the north with amusement.

The Sultans

  • Abu Karasid ibn-Haram 1481-1494
  • Fazail ibn-Haram 1467-1481
  • Ahmehd ibn-Haram 1455-1467
  • Alimann sur-Faisal 1453-1455
  • David al-Roi II 1447-1451

The Players

  • T93-T102 (1455-1494) Carmi Turchik
  • T91-T92 (1447-1454) (unknown; no ISI list)

Last updated: 28 May 2003

© 2003 Robert Pierce

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