Tag Archives: middle-east

Dar al-Islam, Part Twenty-Seven: Go West, Young Man (Also a Second Crusade)

With the Itijid and Byzantine empires both reeling from our recent military victories, it seems safe to call our borders secure. So let’s work at expanding those borders, yeah?

West we go! There’s nothing very interesting between us and Iberia, but once we get across the Straight of Gibraltar, hoo boy!


Aquitaine is the most powerful nation in Europe at the moment, what with the Holy Roman Empire looking like this:





Well isn’t that grand? It’s always nice to have another body or two around, in case I need him.

So uh, hey. I just noticed something odd…


Oh hey! Some of those random, unimportant marriages paid off!

Well that’s nice. Now we have a tiny little province in the middle of the Seljuk horde.

Good thing they’re our allies, huh?

You can say that again! Please don’t, by the way.

I would never do something so good thing they’re our allies, huh?

I hate you and everything you stand for.

You know, there were a few seemingly insignificant marriages made in the last, oh, three hundred years. One of them got me Mali!

WHAT!? When?

I dunno. Like, a few years ago?


How did I not notice this?


I need to pay better attention…

Well, okay. That makes things much easier! Let’s start our westward march, and get ready to fight Aquitaine!

Wait, hold on.



I fucking love books bro!

That’s… good to hear. How’s that moving west thing going?

It’s fine. Boring, but fine.


I figured it would be. The Kalmen Caliphate totally dominates Africa, the Middle East and Greece. Nothing can stop us now.

Well, nothing but jealous wives.



Aren’t dynastic politics fun?

Well that’s word you can use to describe the death of my wife…

I know, that’s why I used it!

Word has reached me that, somewhere in Europe, a man claiming right to the throne of Byzantium is mustering forces. You should prepare to fight off a potentially massive force. He will also have access to the newly-formed Knights Templar.


How are you going to deal with all these new and sudden threats, Aksir?


Sure yeah. Let’s go with that.

Well fine! If that’s not good enough for you…


Please don’t tell me you’re diving in…

Fine. I won’t tell you.

God damn it, Aksil! That is not what I meant!!


Good job. Important information gathered.

You never know what Hekebepet is going to do, that saucy bitch.

Please don’t speak.

It’s useful stuff!

I can see that.

I sense some bitterness in you. Are you bitter?


Oh. Sorry.

At least you improved your Intrigue. Which, granted, may have had something to do with this?


When did you get the Varangian Guard on your side?

Emperor of Byzantium, remember?

Oh yeah. It’s easy to forget that one. Especially in moments of utter crisis.


Oh they want Jerusalem do they? LET THEM COME!

What are you going to do?

Kill every single Christian who crosses my border!

Good plan. But I might have a better one…


See that? That’s Rome. The brown stuff is Lotharingia, formerly Italy, formerly the Byzantine Empire. They are Orthodox, so they probably won’t join the Crusade for Jerusalem.

And that green? That’s us. Right on Rome’s borders. Raise a few fleet levies and ship a massive army into Italy and sack Vatican City! That’ll show ’em!

I like the way you think!


Done and done! That was easy, what’s nex- holy shit Lotharingia actually did declare war on me!

Calm down, calm down! Maybe Lotharingia has changed rulers? I haven’t been paying attention, so maybe they are Catholic after all. But that’s not a problem. We got this, you and me!


See? It’s all good!

Yeah, fuck your Crusade! One day, I’ll rule in Rome. Everything is awesome!

NEXT TIME: Is it really?


Posted by on October 1, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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Dar al-Islam, Part Twelve: My Cup Overfloweth (and by Cup I of Course Mean Dungeon)

Dude. Seriously:
Thirty prisoners!
I’m so excited!

Excited? Uh… why?

Think of all the ransom money I can get!

Oh. Ransom. That is much better than executing everyone!

Why would I do that?

I was having flashbacks. The last time someone was excited about having prisoners, it resulted in some beheadings, –


– blindings, –


– torture, –

Oh my!

– and castrations!


But you’re not Joffrey. You’re Khalil, and you’re much cooler than that. So about the ransoms. That might not be a good idea. A lot of those captured lords really hate you, and would rebel immediately if given the chance.


Well, leave them in their cells. Let’s see the rest!

It’s all like that, at least as far as family goes. I think your family’s hatred of your father Is’mail bled over onto you. And since his reign was so short, I’m sure some your uncles want their shot.

Nope! The throne is mine! I’m keeping it.

Good spirit!

Meanwhile, at age 79, Sultan Latif of the Tulunid, Sultan of Egypt, has passed away. His son, Zaia, wishes to continue the tradition of Tulunid Sultans marrying Kalmen daughters, and wishes to have Asenet bint Is’mail as his wife.


Can’t say no to that!

Well I suppose you could. Don’t do that by the way. Tying your family to the Tulunids is a great way to maintain power in Egypt and North Africa. Especially when a happy Zaia wants to make you Court Calligrapher!


Sweet deal!

I know, right? You get to write and draw and everything!

I’m important!

You sure are, Khalil. I mean, just look at all the land you control!

This is the Direct Vassals mapmode, not independent states. We are still vassals of Zaia Tulunid

I’m not actually sure how we got that little bit of Abyssinia back. Marriage shenanigans, I’m sure. Either way, you control all of Egypt sans Fustat. The Tulunids are having a bit of an issue, however:

Back to the independent lords mapmode

Prince Ahmad has made a play for Zaia’s throne, instigating the 2nd Tulunid Succession Crisis. Which wouldn’t be much of a problem, except that Sicilian peasants have risen in a bid for independence of their own. The Tulunid Sultanate has powered through far more dire straights than these, so I wouldn’t worry.

I won’t.

Well, maybe you should. Just a little. Ahmad is asking us to join him in his play for power.


I’d suggest declining. We have a lot invested in Zaia (three of his wives are Kalmen). Besides, if we went to war to place Ahmad on the throne, we’d gain nothing at all.

Let’s stay out of it then.

I agree! This gives us a nice breather. We should see how the rest of the world is doing.


Damn, that is some major blobbing! Look at that Arabian Empire (the Abbasid Dynasty)! That is huge! They nearly wiped out the Byzantine Empire!

And the Holy Roman Empire! East Francia, Lotharingia, West Francia and northern Italy have all been absorbed.

Norse Skotland nearly has the entirety of the British Isles under its control. Skotland at one point controlled almost all of Scandinavia, but repeated wars of independence have set them back on that front.
The Umayyad Dynasty hasn’t changed much since the beginning of the game. It falls apart every now and then and loses land to Leon and Castille, but then the Spaniards fall apart and the Umayyads take their land back.

Rus at one point controlled Lithuania, but quickly lost it.


What just happened?


The Abbasid Dynasty has come to an end! The Mubarak family has control of the Arabian Empire. Who are these people? Why haven’t I heard of them? And how did they get control of the most powerful empire in the world?

And most importantly, –

Can we trust them?

Exactly. It seems the Hashimid dynasty thinks not, and has split off. That’s a huge chunk of the Arabian Empire. In fact, that’s almost all of Arabia proper.


To make matters in the east worse, a man named Seljuk has descended from the steppes into Turkmenistan and Khiva. His horde may press into Mubarakid and Hashimid lands.


I suppose we’ll see how this plays out.



Well, as long as he stays over there he won’t be a problem for Egypt.

What are the chances he’ll stay ‘over there’?

Uh…. Do you really want an answer to that question?

Can’t say that I do.

NEXT TIME: An answer to that question

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Posted by on August 23, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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Dar al-Islam, Part Eleven: This is Winning (Suck It, Charlie Sheen!)

Damn! Good work, Nuraddin!
Thank you.

So, uh… Listen carefully, because things are about to get confusing.

Uh oh!

Not in a bad way. Well, probably not in a bad way.

Okay, so it’s time for some family tree silliness. Here is the family tree for your half-brother, Firuz Kalmen, sheikh of Cyrenaica (which you own). Note his Grandparents:


See Koriaur Kalmen, your Grandfather and the founder of the Kalmen Dynasty almost ninety years ago. See also, Caliph Al-Muwaffak. Muwaffak’s daughter Hanifa married your father, Yahya, sometime before Koriaur’s death, which is why I didn’t mention it; she was already dead by the time I started playing as Yahya, but they had Firuz at some point, obviously.

This gives him a minor claim on the throne of Caliph. Which would not be an issue of substance, were it not for two things: the Abbasids are falling apart, faced with civil wars since the death of the last Caliph.




Latif Tulunid is pushing Firuz Kalmen’s claim on the throne. This could be a chance to make humongous gains for the Kalmen Dynasty!

Sounds good.

Let’s get in there!


Uh… Guess not? Well, better introduce myself to Is’mail.

I actually really like your plan, yo! I mean, if Latif’s pushing the war anyway we might as well join in right? Sure can’t hurt! Let’s do this! Why aren’t we doing this? I’m bored. Let’s go go go!

Dear God, please shut up. I hate you already.

That’s not very nice let’s fight some Abbassids together we’ll be brothers in arms! That will make us friends.

Please. Please. Please shut up. You’ve got issues at home to deal with now. Mainly, your brother Yahya (named after your Grandfather) fucking hates you. I cannot imagine why. But he will almost certainly revolt and make a grab for the throne if you don’t do something soon.

Send him gifts! Everyone loves money, and Dad left me tonnes of it!

Didn’t work. He went from hating you, to slightly less hating you. But he still hates you. A lot.


Um, lol? Dad already raised the armies and hired mercs to take on the Abbasids. I think I got this one.

Even you could win this one, Is’mail. However, your half-brother Latif (named after the Sultan – this is getting confusing) has joined Yahya against you. This won’t mean much, since you still triple their numbers. Then, another of your family members, a distant nephew, joined in as well.

They were all easily defeated, but their allies, who have acted dishonourably towards you, may be arrested.

Let’s do that then!



They all evaded capture and started rebellions of their own.

Then I’ll beat them too! Easy-peasy!

Which has spawned more rebellions.

Should I be worried yet?

Not really. Well, except for the whole ‘you jsut died’ thing.

What, what?


Oh Khalil…

Yeah yeah, I know. Put down the many, many rebellions my father spawned.

Then take on the Abbasids!

Yeesh, don’t remind me!

Yeah, without Kalmen troops, Latif has been having a hard time of it. He’s winning, but barely. And every rebellion you crush spawns two more. Every time you try to imprison another rebel, he rebels again! This is a disaster!


Without Kalmen support, Sultan Latif could not take on the mighty Abbassid Empire, and the result was a draw, a White Peace.

So hey, fun fact: The Kalmen Dynasty is now 100 years old! Sadly, this centennial celebration is marked with bloodshed and succession disputes. There hasn’t been a lot to say about them though; they are mostly uneventful rebellions, but by the time my massive army can put them down, a second smaller rebellion has sprung up on the other side of Egypt! These have been going on for almost twenty years in game, but I have nothing to say about them because they are so petty.

Well, I have one thing to say; TWENTY YEARS! Latif Tulunid has fought and won two wars against western African nations in that time! All this war has caused disease to fester and spread in Egypt, and the people are starving!


Also a peasant revolt in Atbara, in the Kingdom of Nubia. Which you control.


This is all very annoying.

I know. Trust me, I know.

Next Time: Mopping up (and dealing with all these prisoners!)


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Posted by on August 22, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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Dar al-Islam, Part Nine: Rise and Fall

You know, I really liked your father, but you’re pretty awesome, Yahya. You’ve got gusto!
Those forty-five hundred men in the north east are not Biktorid troops, but a peasant revolt stirred, in part, by your covert dealings. Though hostile to you, they are also hostile to the Biktorids and Tulunids, giving you a diversion and time to draw this war for Aswan to a close. In your favour of course.
Of course!

Captain Dionisii of the Bulgarian Band mercenaries, has been captured in battle, dealing a huge blow to the Biktorid military effort against you. Their army retreats into Fuktat, and the war is all but over. The Siege of Aswan ends and you control the province.


What else can I take for the Sultanate?

Uh… There’s a province in the Nile Delta.

Which province?


Let’s take that.

Uh… there is still a peasants revolt going on. They have two thousand men left after facing off against Biktorid troops, and they are laying siege to Fustat. Which is the home of the Tulunid Dynasty.

I’m going to let that play out. I don’t mind if the Tulunids fall apart.

Of course not. So, war with the Bilbaysid Emirate! Meanwhile, the war in the west has finally ended with Tulunid victory. Latif, now no longer a child but come of age, returns at the head of ten thousand men, heading straight for the peasant army surrounding Fustat.

So long as he refrains from meddling in my affairs, I will let him rule Egypt.

That’s rather audacious a thing to say!

I know. That’s why I said it.

I like you more and more as time goes by.

That’s all I ever wanted in life. The approval of a voice in my head.

Is that sarcasm.

Of course not.

I don’t believe you.

When have I ever displayed a sense of humour?

Nope. Still don’t believe you. You’re yanking my chain!

And you’re observant! You can learn and everything.

Rude! Funny, but rude.


That’s okay! We can take ’em!

We may need some mercenaries. And after all these wars, we are running low on funds.

Dude, you’ve been doing so well so far! You’ll find a way!

Right? We have enough cash for about two thousand mercenaries. It’s keeping them paid and upkept that might pose an issue. In the meantime, the Bilbaysid and Biktorid troops have taken care of that pesky peasant revolt. You know, since it’s right there anyway…


We’ll catch them as they remain exhausted and injured from the battle in Fustat. We have nearly as many troops as the Tulunids, though they don’t need mercenaries to reach an army of ten thousand. While I like the aggression in you Yahya, promise me you’ll take it easy after this. We need to relax, recuperate.

No promises.

I hope you know what you’re doing.

Of course I do


It took a bit of manoeuvring, but I drew the enemy force into battle and crushed them. Simple.

Simple. Yeah. That’s the word.

The Caliph of Arabia has died, and a new Caliph takes the helm of the Abbasid Dynasty; Caliph Ramadan. Ramadan has lost his grip on his decadent family, resulting in a situation very much like the Clusterfuckian War of Succession in Egypt; he has three brothers, all claiming the Caliphate. Meanwhile, in the far east of the Abbasid Empire, Persian lords seek independence and have split off.

In the south, in former Abyssinia, a dozen petty Ethiopian leaders have secured their own independence. This has caused a bit of trouble in your southern provinces, particularly Nubia and Atbara.


I’ll deal with them in a second.


Done. Next?

Well, with Abyssinia fractured and already at war with the beleaguered Abbasids, we could probably carve more Kalmen land out of our southern neighbours. Though you have some domestic issues to take care of as well.


Where is the Court Imam, anyway?

Converting Miaphysites in Atbara.

Hmm… Well, leave him be then. I’m not afraid of a heretics revolt.

Of course. Anyway, it is time to invade Axum and –

I’ve already won that war. What’s next?

Uh… We could keep going south?


Sultan Latif has called a tournament to bring together all the people of Egypt. Nuraddin has earned third place! While there, Latif spotted your daughter, Zara bint Yahya.


Isn’t that nice?

Sorry, what? I wasn’t paying attention.


You know what? I’m not even surprised anymore. You’re very good at killing people, aren’t you?

It’s a skill!

Uh… Yahya?



What is it?


WHAT!? Spit it out!

The Abbasids want Abyssinia back.


What are we going to do?

Hold the line! Never give up, never surrender!

Well, we are definitely losing this one. Sorry dude. Even after Sultan Latif joined in, we are outnumbered ridiculous-to-one.


Hey, you can’t win ’em all, right?

NEXT TIME: Winning it all!

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Posted by on August 20, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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Dar al-Islam, Part Eight: Passing the Mantle


Farewell, buddy. I miss you already.

Koriaur dies hating his son. Yahya immediately moves the Kalmen court out of Alexandria and into Makuria. Both Milad and Nassib grumble and complain, wanting rule of the Kalmen dynasty to themselves. A brief conflict arises among the Tulunids, as Prince Kemaladdin pushes for the throne. I suppose I ought to start haunting Yahya instead…


I do not have time right now, spirit!

I’m sorry?

My insane half-brother Milad is marching out of Tobruk. Nassib has joined him. I must crush them.


Isn’t your seventh grandfather also his seventh grandfather? Whatever. Isn’t this just dandy? The body of your father is hardly cold and already the family is squabbling over the scraps of his Emirate.

I will be King of Nubia, one day. A petulant half-brother of mine will not get in my way.

2013-08-12_00018 2013-08-12_00019

That was fast!

I am not fucking around.


Clearly! What are you going to do with his land?

He is a traitor and deserves none of it. I will give it to my own family.

Speaking of family, let’s take a look at yours!


As you can see, you have quite a few sisters. Both your remaining brothers are ‘imprisoned’, but the game only displays it like that because they died in your dungeons. Both Nassid and Milad have been executed on your orders.

You also have a great many children. Let’s look your heir, Sheikh Nuraddin.


Nuraddin is a Mastermind Theologian and has some children of his own. His siblings are your children. Otherwise, he is nothing special.

However, lets take another look at you, Yahya. What’s your Ambition?


Well that’s cool, I guess. But there is one small snag in this plan. Namely, the creation requirements for the Kingdom of Nubia.


Are you planning to convert?

What I do is not subject to your review.

Like, um… declaring war on Sultan Murshid?



Uhm… Why?

He insulted me. He insulted my son. And he tried to retract my vassal. I will not be interfered with.

That’s a risky move, Yayha! But exactly the sort of thing I like to see. Good work,yo!


I’m not a fool. I know the risks. I cannot win against the Sultan’s armies, but I can call in Abbasidian allies. My wife is the daughter of the Abbasid Caliph. They will fight in the north while I muster in the south. In Nubia.

Good thinking! Sultan Murshid won’t last long against-

You talk too much.


Damn you’re fast! Murshid is forced to abdicate in favour of his young son Latif, who wants to make you Grand Vizier of Egypt!

… Cool.

However, not everything is going so well. Your sons, who are now Sheikhs and Emirs of Alexandria, are all fighting one another over your fathers former direct holdings.

Competition makes them strong.

So just let them fight?


Well… okay then. I suppose more children would only add to the fracas, wouldn’t it?


Sadiya, your second wife, just had a child. This brings your total up to ten, and you’re only forty years old! You certainly get around, don’t you?

What are you saying?

Uh, nothing Yahya. Just that you have a lot of children. One of whom is married to a woman that wants to kill you.



Especially because Samira is married to Nuraddin, your first son and heir. You may want to tread lightly, Yahya. If he gets upset, he might rebel, and then you’ve got troubles!


I’m not sure what I’ll do with her yet. We’ll see how I feel later.

Please don’t execute her! That would be bad.

Know what’s not bad? More children! Your first wife, Thuriya, has given you a daughter, Nura.




Egypt is at war. The Mezwarid Sultanate is pretty far west, meaning Sultan Latif Tulunid will be marching very far away. I see you’ve gained a claim on Cyrenaica, so let’s go ahead and use that. We can take advantage of the war to gain some land of our own. The Salamid Dynasty controls Cyrenaica, but they are vastly outnumbered by our own armies.

And once again, Yahya commands a swift and total destruction of his enemies. Cyrenaica belongs to the Kalmen family now. Bitchin’ work, Yahya!

Thank you.

Meanwhile, the Mezwarids, through crafty marriage, have gained a bit of Umayyad land. The Tulunid war in the west is going poorly. Perhaps you have the opportunity to take some more neighbourly land?


Taking a slice of the rich Egyptian centre will be a huge boon to Kalmen power. The Biktorids currently own the most populous provinces of Egypt, but you own far more land. You’re about even in numbers. Note that the troops of the Alexandrian Emirate are not green, but blue. You gave Alexandria to Nuraddin, and he has formed his own branch of the Kalmen dynasty. He remains your heir, however.

Excellent. And he has the good sense to join his father in his wars.

I seem to recall you and your father taking opposite sides in the Clusterfuckian War of Succession.

Yet in the end, I came out on top by deposing Murshid. I like Latif much more! He is so easily manipulated.

He’s a child!

That’s what I said.

NEXT TIME: Invading central Egypt

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Posted by on August 16, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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Dar al-Islam, Part Six: The Alexandrian-Abyssinian War

Our forces muster in Quena, ready to crush the pitiful Nubian guard.
Should be easy! Plus, controlling Nubia will give you a foothold in any wars against the Tulunid Dynasty you shall undertake, and against Abyssinia should you so desire.
I may just desire! The idea of fighting my Sultan leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Well, you just do what you need to do. Like winning the war against Nubia!

That was easy!

I know, right? You have strong armies, you know…

Shut up. I’m releasing Ablarion from my dungeon.

Uh… why? This seems like a bad idea.

Well I’m stripping the Sheikdom of Gizeh from him first.

That doesn’t really answer my question…

You are thoroughly annoying, you know that?

Fine, I’ll stop asking questions.


Oh, by the way:


I’d hate to say I told you so,…

No you wouldn’t.

You’re right, I love it. I told you so. To make matters worse, Queen Falasha of Abyssinia wants Nubia, and has fabricated a claim to get it.


This may be problematic.


Raise the levies?

Raise the levies! We’ll strike the first blow.


The early war goes well for the people of Alexandria, marching south along the banks of the Nile, heading for Abyssinia. There is no resistance at the border, and the Alexandrian army makes quick progress.


Abyssinian forces muster in the south, but they are not numerous enough to mount an assault on Koriaur’s army. At home, the Tulunids are facing a few issues. The war against Byzantium has faltered and ground to a halt, while a peasants revolt brings the economy to its knees – without farmers and craftsmen, the armies cannot be resupplied. The peasants have shown no interest in disrupting Alexandrian lands, so they are safely ignored.

Oh, by the way. Kor?


You have a claim you can press on Tobruk. I managed to whip up a convincing forgery.

You did WHAT?

Don’t worry about it! Just press the claim while you still can!

*sigh* Okay

Oh, and Ablarion is still being annoying. He joined the Sheikh of Tobruk in this war.

I knew this was a bad idea!

Hey, it was a great idea! Ablarion will be easily crushed, and you can revoke his last title, free of penalty! And on top of that, you’ll have Tobruk!

I don’t even want Tobruk!

Too bad, you’ve got it! Also, your men have captured Ablarion’s son, Yared. You can use him as leverage against Ablarion in the coming months.

All of your children are now of age, and you have another grandson, Ilyas! Your family is doing quite well for itself Kor!

I’m a badass old man!

Wait, that makes me wonder; just how old are you?

Holy shit, you’re 74!?


We started this when you were 34 years old! You’ve outlasted five wives, two Caliph’s, and now one Egyptian Sultan! Ahmad is dead, struck down by smallpox in his 70th year.


His son, Shaybad, has taken the title of Sultan of Egypt and continued the line of the Tulunids. Shaybad is not promising. There is nothing remarkable about him.

Well, there is one thing. He wants to marry your daughter.


Uh… Sure! Why not?

Because you’re going to go to war with him? That would be a good reason.

I will not be doing such a thing!

Blech, still on about that honour thing, are you? At least Yahya is turning out a bit more ambitious than you!

Have you been talking to my son again?

I don’t think so.

Come on, you can trust me! I’m trustworthy! You even said so yourself once!

I’ll take your angry glare as a good sign.

Anyway, your forces have destroyed Ablarion and the armies of Tobruk. The war is won.

Something fishy is going on in Egypt, though… An assassin has killed Shaybad, then his first son, the true heir. This leaves Shaybad’s second and third sons as the rightful rulers. You missed your chance, buddy. All hell has broken loose.





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Posted by on August 14, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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Dar al-Islam, Part Five: Politics Is Hard

Yahya is quite the little rascal!
A little curiosity is a good thing!



A fine, upstanding kid! Meanwhile, your eldest daughter Andali has come of age. She is an Elusive Shadow; an excellent spy and assassin!


Awesome indeed. Know what’s not awesome?


Would this be a bad time to get sick?




Oh boy. Well, civil war in Alexandria, here we come! The unstable political situation has brought out the worst in everyone, it seems. Sacmis, your third wife, has murdered Samira, mother of your heir.



What shall I do with her, Emir?

Throw her in the dungeons! I’ll think of a suitable punishment when I’m feeling better. Perhaps a public execution is in order!

I think you might have been too slow. Sheeva, the young Andalusian Princess you just married like, two days ago, reached Sacmis first.


I don’t know if I should kill her or thank her.

Well, you need to make a choice.

I am too tired for this nonsense! Let us put this behind us.

Amidst all this scheming and plotting, Asenath, your second daughter, has come of age.


She’s also a bit… queer. She pays more attention to the girls of the court than the boys, and many whisper rumours in her presence. She has refused any and all suitors.

I’ll keep an eye on her. How goes the war?

The war goes well! Buhairya and Gizeh have both declared support for Prince Shaybad – whom you tried to kill, remember?

I do!

Strangely, the Prince himself has not joined in this war. Shaybad remains neutral in this conflict. It is Sheikh Ablarion who wants to see the prince rule in Alexandria.

Politics is confusing.

Welcome to Crusader Kings II! Now, as for the actual war…


We’ve actually got quite a lot of money. And money means mercenaries to bolster our army. With this vast advantage, we are easily crushing Ablarion’s forces and besieging his castles. It won’t take long to crush him and his army. A short campaign, and Ablarion surrenders.




Yes it was, Kor. Yes it was…

I’m not sure I like that tone of voice.

Why? I’m not insinuating anything! (You could totally take on the Tulunids and rule in Egypt!)

I’m sorry?

Nothing! Just go about the work of ruling your Emirate. I’m going to go talk to Yahya, all right?

You stay away from my son! Wait, you can do that?


You stay away from my son!

Oh hey, look over there!



Very neat! You should arrange a marriage for her. I’m sure that will occupy your time.

Good idea, voice! I’ll get right on that.

Excellent. Oh Yahya…

Get away from him!

You have a granddaughter!



And they named her after Samira! How sweet!

You are easily distracted, aren’t you?

Am I? I hadn’t noticed

You are. Just trust me on this.

Okay! A random voice in my head seems totally trustworthy!

A message for you, sir:


Do you know what this means?


With the Byzantine Empire!

Oh dear!

That undersells it, I think. Sultan Ahmad is insane! There is no way he could win a war against the Byzantines! If ever there was a time to strike, it would be now, while Ahmads armies invade Sicily.

That would be awful! Underhanded! Dishonourable and vile!

It would also be a good idea.

I’ll think about it.

That means no, doesn’t it?

… I’ll think about it.

Well think harder! Ahmad is being crushed by Byzantine armies!

I actually have a better plan.

Oh this should be good…


Nubia is weak, but holds rich lands. Taking those lands for myself would gain me prestige and access to southern troops. The Kalmen Dynasty would be strengthened!

Surrounding the Tulunids! I like it! That’s… dastardly! Nice to see you’ve got your head in the game after all!

NEXT TIME: The Invasion of Nubia!

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Posted by on August 13, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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Dar al-Islam, Part Four: The Family Tree

Your family is getting rather large, Koriaur. Let’s take a moment to review it, shall we?
Let’s do this!


Let us begin with your children. The eldest is Andali bint Koriaur, daughter of Samira.


She is betrothed to Prince al-Mu’tamid of the Abbasid dynasty. You can see her three traits; Quick-witted, Charitable, and Cynical; and her Diplomacy skill of 9 and Intrigue of 10, both above-average for a girl of her age.


Asenath, your little swordswoman. Born to the late Huma, she has only one trait: Brave. With a proper education, she could easily become a martial genius, or a pwerful and unyeilding member of your court. She is also not betrothed to anyone.


Zahra is Ambitious, but unfortunately a bit Slow in the head. She is betrothed to the young Sheikh of Fars, a small and independent Sheikhdom in Persia.


And your first son, your heir; Sheikh Yahya bin Koriaur Kalmen, Sheikh of Quattara. That was a good idea, giving your son a small piece of land to rule – he has the opportunity to learn under the guidance of Milad of Siwa, a competent man without undue ambition. Yahya has only one trait: Quick. He is intelligent and witty, taking to his education like a fish to water.

The remaining children have not yet even reached their first year. They have no traits and no skills, so we’ll be skipping over those.

Well, there is one trait of note. Your youngest daughter, Amunet, has some kind of lung disease that will likely leave her crippled her entire life.


Sadface indeed, Kor. Don’t let that get in the way of your ambitions, though! You have yet to become Sultan of Egypt. This is a depressing lack of awesome.

I should fix that, shouldn’t I?

Yes you should! First, you need to weaken the Tulunid dynasty. Ahmad has only one son. Kill him, and the lands of Egypt will fall into the hands of another family on Ahmad’s death.

Sneaky! I like it!

Then let’s do it! Already you have on backer.


But you are going to need more! Start spreading coin around. Make some friends, make some promises! Sheikh Latif of Manupura seems interested.

He seems like a shady character.

Shady characters are exactly what you need right now, Kor.


While we wait for this plot to stew and gain traction in the courts of Egypt, your daughter Asenath has started to grow.


She is angry, brave, and good with a sword. She would have made a great soldier, but alas she was born a woman.

Sadly, Sultan Ahmad has heard the whisperings and dealings being made in his halls, and he demands the immediate end of our plot.


Well that’s the end of it then!

Hold on there, buddy! I don’t think so. We can push this!


Damn it, man! Don’t back out now!

It will mean war! A war I cannot win.

Dude, we got this, you and me!

You are nothing but a voice in my head. What are you going to do?

I’ll… Frown. Really hard.

You do that. I’m not pushing this.

Fine. You have a few heresies to deal with, by the way. Your Court Imam is proselytizing the Yakhri faith.

Jail him. I’ll not have blasphemies spoken in my presence!

Yes, well, his replacement is also stressing the Yakhri teachings over mainline Sunni Islam.

Jail him too!

There’s more…

Don’t tell me HIS replacement is Yakhri as well?

There is no replacement. There is no one else to take the place of Court Imam.

So the post is empty?

Correct. I have sent out invitations to holy men across Egypt, and even included a little coin to entice a mastermind theologian to take up the post. Matta Mattid has taken up the call.

Very well.

Yahya has been hard at work ruling in Quattara, and aims for greater things in life.


Good lad!

Maybe he’ll become Sultan of Egypt.

Are you still bitter about that?


NEXT TIME: Murder, Intrigue and Ambition!

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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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Islam Is Not A Race

I came across this in my facebook feed this morning. There are not enough faces, nor palms to place against them, for this kind of poor thinking.

Opinion- -try replacing 'Muslim' with 'Black' in... - Al Jazeera English

What kind of nonsense is this? How can people still be getting this so wrong, especially news journalists? Don’t they have a duty to maintain at least a modicum of integrity?

Islam. Is. Not. A. Race. To claim it is, is insulting to the millions of Punjab and Pashtun people of Pakistan – an incredibly Islamic state. Very few are Arabic. Nor are they Berber.

Indonesia is the most populous Muslim nation on Earth.

Is this question trying to say that Punjabs, Pashtuns, Arabs, Egyptians Berbers, Turks and Javanese are all the same race? This is lunacy akin to saying Canada and Mongolia are the same country.

The article is here, and the author doesn’t seem to have read Harris’ work. Murtaza Hussain also seems to miss one rather important distinction when he says “It’s worth remembering why making sweeping statements about “the Jews” and “the Blacks” became considered unconscionable behaviour in the first place. Both groups were once spoken of by racists and anti-Semites as though they were a homogenous mass of people, undifferentiated in any meaningful way and all sharing the same (largely negative) characteristics.”

The distinction missed is this: racism targets people based on who their parents were. Criticism of religion is not criticizing people for things they have no control over in this way. Harris and Dawkins are criticizing ideas. Ideas are not people, though they are held by people. Ideas really do affect the way people act, unlike their skin colour.

Religion does not come down to the melanin receptor distribution in your skin, Mr. Hussain. Thanks for trying though.

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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in Politics, Religion


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Dar al-Islam, Part Three: MORE WIVES

Rafiq, your Grand Vizier, has died.
I thought Glitterhoof was my Grand Vizier!?

Oh, you were… you were serious about that?

I am always serious!

Right. Well, I took it upon myself to reinstate Rafiq about three years ago.

Whatevs, politics bore me anyway.

He was forty years old, Koriaur. You are forty-seven.


So you are past your prime, and with this plague of Slow Fever still sweeping Egypt, claiming the elderly and infirm, it may be wise to consider your health.. Or at least your dynasty! Your only son, Yahya Kalmen, has contracted the Slow Fever himself!



And with only one son, this puts your family in a precarious spot.

More wives will solve this problem!

Oh dear. Is this you mid-life crisis answer for everything? More wives?

I don’t know, but I aim to find out! MORE WIVES

That may actually be wise, since Samira just gave you another daughter.


Excellent? But these are not sons!

I guess God just wants you to have daughters. This does leave you in a touchy place. To make up for this lack, though, God has given your second daughter a skill normally reserved for men; the art of swordfighting.



I should encourage her. She may be my bloods only hope of survival.

It seems that way. Yahya has lasted almost a year with the Fevers, but while it has not claimed his life, his body has not yet thrown off the disease that wracks it. And your second daughter is quite the charitable philanthropist!


My children are pretty awesome.

You’re a good father, Kor!

D’aww, thanks bro! You’re a good voice in my head.

We make a pretty sweet team! Your son, despite his illness, has reached the age where most boys begin their education. I suggest you take him in your own hand; his education will guide him in his life, and he will take over your dynasty upon you death, should he survive.

He’ll survive.

I’m sure he will, Kor. However, there are two things you should be aware of. First, the Abbasid Caliph has reunited much of his fractured land, and is offering his daughter to Yahya in search of an alliance. This is great news! A marriage between the two dynasties would increase your power immensely!

Let’s do it!

Good choice, Koriaur.

What was the second thing?


Sultan Ahmad Tulunid has imprisoned his wife as a spy, and launched an invasion into lands held by the Islid, to our west.


He has asked that you raise your levies and join him in this war.

Honour demands I acquiesce.

Koriaur marches out with a thousand men to join his Sultan in war. Quick progress is made, right up until meeting the Islid Sultan directly in battle.


My everything hurts!

That is a perfectly natural response to being stabbed, clubbed, smashed and trampled. You should avoid that in the future.

I agree. But I must press on! I am no weakling child, mewling at a few cuts and bruises! I am of the blood of Kalmen!

Just don’t get killed out there!

No danger of that. The Islid have surrendered, and Ahmad Tulunid has expanded his holdings to the west.

This could be problematic. Ahmad is gaining power and prestige while you wait for your moment to strike. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to fight him.

It also means more power for me when I defeat him and take his lands!

There is that, yes. Good thinking, Kor!


Good work, Samira!

Good work indeed! The Dynasty can breathe much easier now that you have a second son. Not to be outdone, Sacira, your youngest and newest wife, has also given you a son!


Dynasty secure! Good work, Koriaur!

NEXT TIME: The Family Tree

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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)


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