The Merchant of Alexandria - A long forgotten Knights of Honour story (2004)

Started by Anguille, December 05, 2022, 06:21:33 AM

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And so the Crusade infantry, backed up by crossbowmen, walked directly towards Abrar's army...

For hours, Saracens and Desert Spearmen fought against the ferocious enemies. They had never seen such fanatic men before...many died.

Most Saracens and Spearmen had been defeated...only the ability of the archers kept the enemy afar...but for how long?
Finally, Emir Abrar decided to retreat...he would gather his men and come back

3 weeks later

Fortunately for Emir Abrar, there were enough troops in Napoli to complete his defeated army. He was eagerly waiting to have inflicts an affront to Abrar without paying for it.

- Captain Azzuro?
- Yes Milord?
- We leave the city in an hour....this time, they won't get away with it.

And so the army left. The Crusaders had now come closer....the battle would start soon.

- Sire....we are in position!
- Fine....let's move to the small forest in front of us...we'll prepare them a trap.
- Yes Milord.

Despite the losses they had taken during the first battle, the Crusaders were still dangerous...especially the Knights.


And so the trap was taking form.

As expected, the enemy tried to break the centre. The Desert Archers were firing their deadly arrows from their good position...many crusaders died burning.

Abrar moved to the centre:


And so the various spearmen companies launched a full attack on the enemy Knights....these would fall soon.

While the Crusader Knights were trying to break through from the heavy attack, two companies of Desert Spearmen took the crossbowmen by reverse. These were totally surprised.

Now that the Knights had been defeated, the remaining crossbowmen fell one after the other. Either by fire or by spears...the fools didn't even try to retreat.

- How's the situation Captain Azzuro?
- The enemy has lost all his companies...only the men of the Count are still there.
- Well I guess he'll leave now...

However...Abrar suddenly hear some loud rumours...

- What is happening?
- Count Adam is charging?
- WHAT? This man is nuts....very brave but nuts.
Count Adam's men had no chance and died bravely...

The body of Count Adam was sent to Rome so the Pope could see what he had done...hopefully he wouldn't do something so stupid again.


Very sad news indeed...our former ally, the Byzantium Empire, is no more.

In addition to that we just lost the trade good we regularly received from them, Hides.

Emir Ahmed came back to Alexandria:

- Sire, I am sorry but the new rulers don't want to trade Hides anymore with us...
- I know...however we have a trade treaty with Brittany...and they have plenty of Hides. So, starting from next month, you'll be travelling far west!
- As you wish Sire. I am you humble servant.

And so our stock of Hides remained full.

Shuayb planned the production of tackling. The building of a Rigger's store factory began in Benghazi.

It was also during that year that the Croatians finally agreed to sign a peace treaty...the Caliphate didn't have any enemies in the neighbourhood anymore.

Meanwhile in Tripoli, Emir Adam and the prince Ali had just started to build an ink maker....soon, the streets of that glorious city would be full of students.

Part 7: Great Endeavours


Normandy was kind enough to offer us a peace agreement. The loss of Count Adam had shown them that it wasn't reasonable to always obey to the Pope. Caliph Shuayb accepted the offer to show his good-will.

Aalam, Shuayb's third son finally became an adult.

The Admiralty project in Lebanon was progressing nicely. A fishmonger was being built...first step in a long project.

In Tripoli, Emir Adam and Prince Ali were making serious progress and were working on a scribe's office. The best writers of the Caliphate were eagerly looking forward to have a meeting place where they could discuss their various interests.


In Bari, people were still nervous. In order to prevent further rebellions, Shuayb ordered the construction of a hostel. Also Emir Ayaan, our religious leader, was sent to Apulia with the mission to convert the population.


The Abbassids offered us an alliance pact. In those times of prosperity and peace, an other ally was welcome.


In Benghazi, the Rigger's store factory was finally finished...the production of Tackling allowed us to achieve a new Kingdom Advantage: Age of Discoveries.

More and more gold arrived in the Caliphate...the population was getting happier every year.

Family portrait


Ali came back for a few days in Alexandria. It was the first time in a long period that the entire family was complete. Aafreen, the youngest in the family, was so happy to see her older brother and ran to meet him in the courtyard:

- Hey little've grown up since I last saw you!
- Well yes..."old man", did she reply laughing...
- I see that your brothers have been a bad example to you. You're as impolite as Aalam and as proud as Rayn, did he say with a big smile. Where are they anyway?
- The family is in the garden, waiting for us!
- In that case, let's join them

And so they made a bet on who would be first in the garden. They both ran like crazy. Ali pretended to be slower and let his sister win. His father, his mother and his two brothers were sitting under the palm trees while drinking tea. They all stood up when they saw the two arrive. Ali hugged them all and kissed his mother. Rayn asked his brother:

- How are you? I've heard a lot of good things about you've done some tremendous work in Tripoli...
- Well, well....the Heir of the Fatimids talks to me? Answered Ali while blinking. I am fine and we should soon have a university in our Caliphate. What about you? I heard you've learned a lot about politics, warfare and've helped father a lot!
- I try my best.

Ali turned then to Aalam, his youngest brother.

- What about you? What have you done lately?
- Father has allowed me to travel with our merchants...I've already seen a lot of countries. It's been a great year....still I am not sure about what I want to do later...that's the privilege of not being the heir.

Ali then talked a lot with his father about the situation in Tripoli. Shuayb was very satisfied with his son.
He then spent most of the afternoon playing with his sister.

In the evening, a great feast was organised...that was a great day.


All the family gathered again to celebrate the 18th birthday of Aafreen. Many noble families from the known world attended the celebration. The fireworks were especially impressive that day...but not as beautiful as Aafreen.


The Fishing had been good. The Ship was full and the sailors were tired....finally they were coming home after weeks on the sea. Abdul was looking forward to see his wife and children. Suddenly he heard the sentinel shout:

- LAND!!!

Abdul could sea the port of Lebanon coming closer. One sailor pointed at the left of the port:

- Look....they are building docks!
Indeed, as the approached, Abdul could see the huge docks under construction. Hundreds of men were working under the sun. This gave Abdul a new idea...maybe he could open a shop as merchants would come from other countries...then he would have to leave his family anymore?


Prince Ali and Emir Adam were sitting on top of hill behind the city of Tripoli. The sun was going down and the wind was getting colder. At the bottom of the hill, a giant building site was full of men. Strangely, despite being far away, both could hear the men talking, singing and working.

- Finally, whispered Ali.
- Yes Milord, answered Emir Adam. The long years of work are finally paying off.
- I wonder what will be the effect of this University on the world....all the greatest scientist will come here as soon as it's finished.
- Indeed, they will. Not only will we possess the most diverse goods in the know world but the also the finest knowledge. The other nations will envy us, that's for sure.

They enjoyed the sight for a while and then started to descend the hill.


Emir Ayaan had been travelling a lot through Apulia. In every village and every city he had explained what Mahomet had explained in the Holy Book. After all these years, the population had finally understood that God was talking to them and they all converted to Islam. He sent a messenger to Shuayb....


The University looked fantastic. Many scientists and authors were occupying most of the rooms. Astrology, Religion, many sciences were studied and explained. Prince Ali took some illustrated book with him and went to Alexandria to show them to his father.

Meanwhile, Emir Adam, never tired as it seems, was drawing the plans for an admiralty...very soon, the first exotic goods would be on the table of the great leader of the Fatimids.


The Calif is dead...

Shuayb, one of the greatest leaders of the Fatimids, is no more. He has achieved so much during his reign: victory over the Zirid Caliphate and the Zeta Kingdom, defeat of the rebels in Lebanon and Jordan, lots of diplomatic successes and the building of many infrastructures in the Caliphate. Unfortunately, he didn't have the chance to see the completion of the family's goal.

Rayn, the new Calif, had a lot of things to do. People from all other the nation arrived to assist to the funerals.

Unfortunately, Rayn had not married. He had always postponed this idea but now he really needed a wife. This proved to be more difficult than he thought. Indeed, while he probably could have chosen among many young ladies during his father's reign, only few options were given to him now. Many noble families were just unsure and Rayn's reputation was too thin.

Aalam, his youngest brother, told him about a very beautiful young lady in a country far far away, called Leinster. He had met while travelling with his father's merchants.
Rayn embarked in a ship and travelled to the court of King Thomas. Leinster was a cold and grey country. Rayn was convinced that Thomas daughter would be only too happy to leave such a depressing place...and he was right. Matilda was charmed at once by Rayn's strong presence and King Thomas had heard a lot about the Fatimids Caliphate...Rayn wasn't very famous yet but an alliance with such a mighty nation could only bring benefits...

The wedding took place in Alexandria....the population adopted the new Empress at once claiming:

- Empress Matilda, Empress of the Fatimids nation!


Exotic Goods


The Admiralty in El Alamein was finally finished. The new Calif ordered the merchants from the city to start the import of Gemstones. He wanted to make a special gift to his wife and had heard that these stones were very beautiful. The Merchants told him that it could take some years as these Gemstones were produced very far away.

Emir Adam and Prince Ali, despite having started much later the work, finished their admiralty in Tripoli just some months later. Rayn ordered at once the import of sugar. Foreigners had told him about fabulous deserts made out of sugar.


The love between Calif Rayn and Matilda was great. When Matilda told that she was pregnant, Rayn was overjoyed. 9 months later, a beautiful baby-girl saw the light of day. The population who was still mourning their dear Calif Shuayb, finally started to be happy again.


A scout entered the palace:

- Sire....foreign merchants are coming from El Alamein!
- Foreign merchants? Do they have gemstones?
- I believe so, Milord.

And so Rayn offered a wonderful necklace to his wife.

Thanks to the gemstones, another Kingdom advantage was achieved: Secret Order.


Calif Rayn was coming back from the Morning Prayer when he saw a caravan arriving in the city. Many kids were running around the camels. He went to the leader of the Caravan:

- What have you got in there? Asked the Calif while pointing at the huge jars on the back of the camels.
- It's sugar Milord.
- Do you know how to us it?
- Yes Milord.
- In that case you'll be my guest....head directly to the palace where you'll show me.

And in the evening, the royal family tasted some delicious deserts.

The Calif organised a Spring festival in the entire country where people were offered various sweetness. This was a time of joy and happiness.


Rayn was visiting the outer defensive walls. The Caliphate had been so long at peace that these were in a poor just didn't make any sense to spend too much money on military. In the sunset, he saw a new caravan arriving.

Next Morning, he went to the market to see what kind of goods the caravan had brought. He was told that they had many types of spices....these had very strong tastes and had many different colours. He ordered his cooks to take some of each and prepare something to eat. Indeed, the food was much more tasteful now....especially the meat. He told the cooks that he wanted to have spices in all his dishes from now on.

The new meals in the cities incited many peasants to leave the countryside.


Empress Matilda gave birth to boy. Finally an heir was there to ensure the continuation of the dynasty.

During the summer, Calif Rayn travelled to the cities of Benghazi and Sinai. Admiralties had just been finished in both cities. Rayn had long discussions with the merchants and finally it was decided that ships would be sent to distant shores. The Captains of the Benghazi ships were ordered to travel south along the coast of Africa. From there, they would have to bring back ivory.

The Captains of the Sinai ships were requested to reach the Baltic countries from where they should bring a wonderful good called Amber.


The Captains of the Benghazi ships were the first ones to succeed. Ivory was such a fine material and many artists started to work with it at once. Wonderful statues and necklaces were produced.

Strangely, many scientists also discovered that ivory could be used in medicine as well as other sciences. This gave the final edge to our University in Tripoli. The reputation of our knowledge spread throughout the entire civilized world and scientist from all nations gathered there.

Another side effect was that our ships had encountered other sailors who were apparently coming from the other side of Africa. Some were brown like us while others were yellow. They talked about vast and very rich countries. Two Nations seemed very powerful: India and China. Calif Rayn decided therefore to send more ships to visit those fabulous kingdoms and to bring a wonderful tissue that was used to dress nobles: Silk.

The second expedition was successful too. As The Sinai ships came back full of amber, Calif Rayn realised that he was very close to achieve the goal of his grand-father. Soon, people from all nations would come here and be available to buy any good they want.

With Amber, the religious power of the Caliphate grew also.

Calif Rayn hadn't expected how much those various expeditions would cost. Also the maintenance of the infrastructures bond to them was very expensive. He had to cut expenses...

Now that the main constructions had been finished, he told Emir Adam that he could retire. Adam decided to become a docent at the Tripoli University.

As the Empire was at peace, Calif Rayn decided that he would need only one army in the Caliphate and so he sent a messenger to Emir Anwaar that he thanked him for his services and that he would receive some land as a reward.

The Fatimids didn't have any enemies left, so Rayn told Emir Adyar, the family's protector, that he didn't needed his services anymore.

Finally, Calif Rayn proclaimed himself as the religious leader of his nation. Emir Ayaan retired from the political field and preached in the main Mosque in Alexandria.


Calif Rayn decided to spend the summer in Cyrenaica. He supervised the final works on the Admiralty. After some months, the first major merchant ships were able to dock.
Rayn decided to embark himself on the flag ship: the last trade good left was a very special type of wood called Ebony. They travelled many months along the shores of Africa. Many sailors had already travelled so that when they were looking for Ivory. The captains had told about a mighty kingdom called the Kingdom of Benin. The King Evian had shown that he was a brilliant merchant too. The discussions took many days and finally it was agreed that Benin would give Ebony and receive Silver for it.

After many weeks, the royal ships docked in Cyrenaica. Sailors started to unload the precious wood.
The royal family was so glad to see that Rayn had made it safely back home. Rayn was very happy too and now had a special glimpse in his eyes...finally the dream of the Fatimids had come true...the Caliphate was the mightiest Kingdom in the world....



Caliph Rayn took a good look at the map of his Country.

The East was quiet as the Abbassids were very good friends.

In the West, the Zirid had long become allies to the Fatimids and Italy was under firm control.

After many years of reign and the death of his wife, Rayn retreated in upper region of the Nile. He had worked long enough and deserved to rest...

To the happy few:

Thank you for reading my story until the end. I hope you enjoyed it. I had made a couple of attempts to write AARs (at least on for MOO 3) but never had never written more than a couple of posts. Problem was due also to the fact that I didn't know where to load picture. This was great fun to write and I've read every comment posted.
I'd be very happy if this AAR could be sticky as I believe it gives a good insight on the game and furthermore it's one of the few (yet) completed stories.


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слава Україна!

We can't live under the threat of a c*nt because he's threatening nuclear Armageddon.



Replying to this thread in order to remember to read this later.  I skimmed through it quickly just now and this AAR deserves to be read in it's entirety.  Thank you Anguille!!
"You and I are of a kind. In a different reality, I could have called you friend."

Romulan Commander to Kirk


Back in the day Anguille was the Knights of Honor AAR Master. Looking forward to seeing what he does with the new game [subtle hint].

слава Україна!

We can't live under the threat of a c*nt because he's threatening nuclear Armageddon.