Author Topic: The War of Wool  (Read 299 times)

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Offline Wadden

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The War of Wool
« on: July 01, 2020, 09:39:40 PM »
Five days ago the Chief of the Taghlib ibn Wa'il, a man in his early fifties with a pacthy grey beard and a squink caused by decaying eye-sight by the name of Khaliq Darzi had discovered that around 200 members of his tribe had been gunned down by someone, he was yet to determine who. The nomadic nature of the Unified Tribes of Waddan meant no one was ever in one place for very long and the desert was helpful to those who had committed the crimes as its late evening winds and the occasional sandstorm could hide the tracks of even the largest group travelling across the sands which were like oceans between oasis'.  Conflict between the tribes wasn't a common thing but it was usually no more than a few shots fired and the occasional bout of fisticuffs. This was vastly different though, this wasn't a disagreement over which tribe's turn it was to take water or how many head of sheep to trade for a bride. This had been a massacre and had shoked Darzi. His immediate reaction had been for vengeance as the usual way of dealing with even slights was an eye for an eye which explained  why the tribes often ensured so carefully they never caused each other offence. Darzi was in a difficult position now though as he sat in the Red Tent which his tribe used to signifiy those living there were the family of the Chief. He had called some of the tribal elders to him and now sat cross legged on the floor they smoked a pipe and discussed what action to take. "Someone must pay." one of the elders asserted, "If we do nothing the others will know we are cowards and that is bad."

"That is the least of your problems my Chief" a tiny old man with waist length beard added, "If you do nothing then the tribe will think you can not protect them and that spells disaster for you, and for the tribe."

"So what do you recommend?" Darzi asked. He had racked his brain the last few days and had asked himself that question many times already but had failed to really think of anything that he saw a positive outcome coming from.

One of the elders unrolled a document, it was nothing other than a collection of drawings on a map and patterns. It was a document that was designed to show the land rights that rotated between the tribes and was essentially a calender saying who had which watering hole and when. The man pointed at the spot that showed where Darzi's tribe were currently sat. "You must attack the Anazzah. We sit just half a day away by horse from their town of Murqquab. Someone is always there. This time of year it will be unguarded. Word of the attack will spread among the others, if we do things right no one will know it was us, however the tribe that did attack us will be the only ones who suspect it was us as no one outside us and them, whichever scum they are, knows about what has happened so far. They will not be willing to speak out because it will show their own guilt, but our tribe will believe we have taken vengence which protects you. It is the best course of action."

Darzi was not happy about the suggestion. Shedding the blood of an innocent tribe sat uneasy but the township would also be full of the old and infirm making it perhaps even more cowardly. The old man though had spoken sense. If the Chief did nothing then it was likely he would lose the support of his own people and so he reluctantly agreed with the suggestion and gathered the tribe together. "The past days we have mourned in sadness the murder of our brothers and sisters but today I have received word from our scouts who is behind this. The Anazzah tribe wanted to destroy our herds. Well they have a nearby township and soon our warriors will exact vengence there." The crowd cheered lead by a tall man with only one eye. Kazan was the militia officer and Darzi had told him the plan a few moments before the tribe meeting. He knew it wasn't the Anazzah but he wasn't about to tell anyone. He was Darzi's cousin and that meant as long as the Chief retained power he would find favour in the tribe, if Darzi lost the respect of the tribe it wouldn't bode well for his relatives and so to maintain the status quo Kazan would put the township of Murquabb. Truth be told he rather enjoyed violence, it was this that had lead to him losing his eye when he had been just 17 and had it beaten to jelly by an older man after refusing to pay up on a wager following a horse race. It was a foolish mistake but was also the last fight the 35 year old had ever lost and he'd enjoyed quiet a few, the fight ahead should be one of the easiest in his life and he was smiling as his Chief berated the cowards of the Anazzah. This time tomorrow he'd be plundering the old and stealing their cattle.

Offline Wadden

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Re: The War of Wool
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2020, 12:43:31 PM »
The Taghlib ibn Wa'il had sent 35 of their militia to where they suspected the Anazzah tribe were looking after their old and sick. The "Town" of Murqquab was a series of single story yellow sandstone buildings with wooden sheds upon their roof which acted as store rooms. Like most Waddan tribal towns it was small and the houses were used communially. The arrangement was simple, a well sat in the centre and the houses fanned out in a circle around them. The militia had left their camals with a force of ten several kilometers away and had walked for the last distance in silence. Now as the sun was beginning to creep its way above the sandy horizon the groups best shots remained on the dunes around the town while around 30 of the militia sneaked towards the buildings. A young boy sat watching the pen in which the goats belonging to the village roamed. There were about 100 goats and the boy sat whistling while picking up small stones and trying to hit them with a stick he was carrying. He couldn't be more than 12 or so and wasn't even beginning to have fluff on his face yet alone a beard. His attention was focused on his little game rather than what was around him. The sun was on its way up and so the threat from predators was going. He was probably thinking more about his bed than the knife that slid between his ribs as one of the militia men covered his mouth to stop his cries from being heard. As his blood began spilling onto the warming sand his throat was cut speeding his departure from the world. While he bled out several other began trying to doors of the houses and obviously found them open. A few ancient grenades were launched into the homes yet only one exploded as the militia began screaming and entering the houses firing at anything that moved with old rifles acquired over the last 50 years. When the guns didn't work or there was a need to reload the butts were used to beat down those inside. There wasn't much of a fight, the elderly hadn't been ready and the young tasked to look after them was either unarmed or weak women. It took only about thirty minutes to kill everyone inside the town.

Once the killing was over the bodies were dragged out and dropped down the well clogging it up with the dead. Searches of the homes yielded a horde of bounty, coins, jewellrey, rich cloth, all things that could be traded and so these were bundled up ready to take. They would have liked to take the livestock but the sands would potentially give away the sight of 100's of goat being herded while they could easily disguise their own camals. One of the militia men examined the goats, "They are diseased" he pointed at one of the hooves of the nearest goat.

"Kill them all." The leader of the militia, a man called Kazan with an eye patch said as even before he turned to check on the progress of packing up the bounty he heard the sound of a goat bleeting as its throat was cut. He was pleased with what they had found and was sure the Chief would reward him for his work, he however had found a lovely roll of cloth that he was sure his wives would like and so he instructed that to be loaded onto his camal when it arrived. It took them maybe an hour to kill all the goats and pull down some of the wooden sheds to create a bonfire. With the destruction done and the security party having brought the camals they mounted up and spliting into small groups headed back into the desert.

It took about an hour for the fire to really catch and the light get to a point where the smoke was visible. Some distance away across the flatish desert to the North a plume could be seen by two members of the Anazzah tribe who were out examining a rocky outcrop for the prescence of minerals they could use. They knew that the tribes town was in that direction and even though not part of their plan set off on the days ride to see what was happening as their was no way a smoke plume like that should be coming from any town in Waddan this time of year.

Offline Wadden

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Re: The War of Wool
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2020, 09:03:52 AM »
The Anazzah tribe couldn't believe what they had discovered. Their tribal capital was essentially gone, the well was full of dead bodies, the houses all collapsed and on fire and the smell of charred flesh still hung in the air. Scavangers had ripped the flesh of the massacred livestock apart and now flies buzzed everywhere. The tribe's militia had arrived just after sunrise two days after the incident and now had the impossible task of working out what had happened. Footprints in the sand would have been long gone with the winds of the desert having whipped up the sand and recovered the tracks. Things such as the hundreds of spent rifle cartridges meant very little as every tribe used the same weapons and it wasn't even a case of suspecting the nearest tribe. Those groups were constantly moving and changing beside there were around six tribes with groups less than two days ride away so even that made things difficult.

It was as sun began to set that the militia had gathered what wood was left unscorched and had gathered as many bodies as they could to cremate them. Men stood guard on the dunes as tents now replaced houses as the tribes shelter. Jamal al-Din Zaman was the chief of the Anazzah and he arrived just in time to see the fires lit. As flames flickered in the dark evening Jamal sat with his militia men who informed him that they would never truly know what had happened or who had carried it out. "It does not matter." Jamal began to explain, "We must protect the tribe, we must rebuild Murqquab." He began drawing a sketch in the sand with a stick. "We have the river a few hours west. We must begin making bricks there. We have the trees from the oasis to the east to use for wood, we must though be careful." Jamal was naturally thinking more long term. Soon the desert frosts would arrive meaning the elderly with the nomadic portion of the tribe would need shelter then he would need to think about the livestock they grazed at the various islands of green that sprung up around the many oasis that dotted the Waddan desert, they would need to be brought somewhere and cared for as the nights grew longer.

"Chief that is all well but we do not know who did this. We must be careful" Aziz one of his militia captains was right of course, perhaps someone had done this hoping to draw the tribe here to rebuild and would return. "I think we need to guard the lands here, send groups of militia to points within two days ride and guard them. Don't let anyone in. We form a fence, a wall around our lands in a way." Aziz did not mean a physical wall but rather a ring made up of militia bands designed to keep people away while they rebuilt Murqquab.

"Yes Aziz" Jamaal nodded agreeing with the mans advice. "You shall organise the militia for me. I will oversee the rebuilding of the settlement."

"Should we inform the Sultan?" A young militia member asked.

"No" Jamaal said rather more harshly than he intended. "No" he lowered his tone to be more respectful, "For all we know the Sultan could be involved." Jamaal shurgged, "We look to our own defence."

Offline Wadden

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Re: The War of Wool
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2020, 10:45:44 PM »
Harith Tawfeek could best be described as a "neccessary evil". When he had been five years old his father had killed another man's horse and as a result he had been kicked out the tribe and forced to head off into the wilds with his family. Harith remembered those days and the walk across the sands with his two mothers and five siblings because they had been on the verge of collapse when the town of Sarikaya had come into view through a heat haze of an early morning. It took the family two weeks to recover and the burnt brand on his father's left hand meant that he had been shunned by many of the folks there, and that meant his family recieved the same treatment. Harith's father therefore had little choice to become a "Scavenger" these were the people affiliated with no tribe who rode the wilds far and wide collecting things that might be useful anything from wood, minerals, fruits or any other fortunate find. Harith's father had been good at this and when you had supplies of things the town needed they suddenly forgot the brand on his left hand. Harith had joined his father along with his two older brothers and soon the four of them had a rather thriving business. The lack of brands on the children's hands meant they were able to ride out of town and meet with the other tribes and after some thought could spin a tale of how their parents had become ill and settled in a town rather than the families criminal past. Harith soon stood out as the leader of the family business. He had a way of people liking him, he knew when to flatter, when to be assertive and the most important skill how to cut a good deal. Now at the age of 30 he had made the family reasonably wealthy and his five year old son Fikri would, if Harith did things right, be the first of the family to gain an education. Harith had spent time in the capital of Sabhā every winter when the tribes came in from the countryside to sell their animals, wool and skins. Over the last ten years he'd sensed a change in the capital and realised that soon would come oppurtunity and when that arrived a new type of Waddanite would be needed. That would be a man with roots, something foreign to those in the tribes. It was his families lack of ties that meant he was brilliantly placed to take advantage. It was this oppurtunism that made him that "neccessary evil", the tribes would have liked to ignore him and watch him starve to death in the desert because of his father's antics but without men like Harith the tribe didn't get the things they needed and now it seemed without men like Harith being willing to send their children to school and put down roots the nation wouldn't advance.

It was his role as this mobile trader that brought him into the settlement of Murqquab just 48 hours after the Anazzah tribe had discovered the slaughter. He had brought dry wood, kindling, blankets, supplies of oil and some dried fruits to trade on the back of an extensive caravan of camels. His two brothers were with him and the scene they witnessed as they rode into where the town once stood made them feel ill. It may have been some time since the ravages took place but the stench of burning human flesh still hung in the still warm air. Where a circle of stone homes once stood ruins and among them severel tents. "What do you want?" A young boy with a rifle approached Harith.

"Greetings" Harith was not a cheery as he usually was upon arrival at a potential buyers home as he was distracted trying to piece together what was wrong. "What has happened?" He slid from his camel and unbuckled a leather saddle bag and held his arms away from his body to show he carried no weapons. "I bring the town some gifts."

"The town." A woman shriked from a nearby blue fabric tent. "What town? Do you see a town?" she burst forth yelling and spitting in his face. "You.....you know." She grabbed him by his robe. "This man knows" she pointed a face. Slowly more and more people appeared. Harith was used to people coming out to see him when he arrived but the usual curosity of what he had for sale was replaced with suspicion and anger. "People like you know the evil that do this. You know." She was hysterical and Harith thought she was going to strike him. For once he was unsure what to do, should he push her away but perhaps provoke the growing crowd to attack him or should he just brace for her strikes. Thankfully he had to do neither as a loud voice cut above the crowd.

"STAND BACK" A tall man dressed in a long green robe pushed his way through the crowd. His long beard was stained with tobacco in places among the greying hair. Across his chest was a x formed from two belts of bullets that were no doubt to be used in the long hunting rifle he carried horizontially at his side. "Stand back." He pushed through and now was in front of Harith and examined him carefully. Aziz was the head of the Anazzah militia and was determining whether he wanted Harith here at all. "Harith the son of the Horse Killer" it was clear today he wasn't going to get any good deals as usually Aziz wouldn't call him what many who knew his family would unless he had no intention of buying.

"Aziz" Harith placed a hand on his heart and bowed his head respectfully. "I do not know what has happened here but I am sorry for the loss."

"The loss of profit" Aziz was stern today and Harith was ready to just turn and leave in case things escalated. "We have nothing for you." An arm pointed back into the desert clearly indicating the way to go. "If you wish to try and return to our graces then tell everyone.....and I mean everyone you come across that Murqquab was attacked by cowards in the dead of night. They murdered our women and children and we shall have vengence once we rebuild. You tell everyone you come across that anyone within two days ride of Murqquab will be shot. You shall be our messenger."

Harith did not know what to say or do in this moment. He may not have had the education of growing up as a proper nomad like Aziz had but he knew you couldn't just block off areas of land that weren't in the official register used by the tribes for working out who had rights over certain parts of land at key times of year. While he thought for a moment about arguing that this wasn't allowed he didn't think trying to educate Aziz on law would get him very far. "I shall tell people." Harith said quietly. He turned back to his camel and reattached the saddle bag. "I shall ensure your words are repeated." He instructed his camel to kneel and took his seat before having the creature lift him up again. He turned without another word and motioned for the caravan to turn back the way they had come from. They had enough supplies for a week and their was an oasis three days away where they would camp and wait for other tribes to appear and so this incident simply meant they'd arrive there sooner. As they rode away Harith turned and took a final look at the striken town and paused. He told his brothers he would catch them up shortly and turned his camel and one more back towards the ruined town. "Aziz" he called as he approached, once more his hands out. "It is not much but no one should face this" he gestured to the town and handed the reigns of the 2nd camel to a nearby woman before turning his own round and trotting off after his brothers. He had promised to bring wood and oil for the Anazzah and even though it would leave him out of pocket he would keep his promise. As the tribeless man trotted away Aziz felt a mixture of guilt for the way he had treated the man who had just been so generous but at the same time relieved that the man hadn't argued or pushed for more information. Aziz lead the camel into the centre of town and began unloading the goods that would help the construction effort. Once that would done his mind would turn to military matters



Five days later

Harith had left the family business at the oasis with his brothers and had riden as quickly as he could for the next couple of days. He'd reached Sabhā and having paid his fee to enter without a tribal alliegance found himself walking the half empty street. The people would over the next few weeks slowly begin returning to the seasonal city but for now the end of the nomadic season was still a month or so away. Harith made his way past businesses with shutters down. In time they would open and provide a whole host of services and goods to the returning nomads but for now they were secured against anyone trying to gain entry. Even had they been open Harith's business was at the Sultan's Guards Lodgings which sat just to one side of the large market place. He approached and saw two men in camoflague unifrom with a host of things hanging off their belts. "Good Afternoon" Harith greeted them. "My name is Harith. I have some news that may be of interest, could I speak with someone." he asked.

"What kind of news" The man on the left was clearly the older of the two and so was probably the higher in rank.

"A massacre." he paused, "I think its a massacre and its lead to me being given a message of sorts." Harith tried to explain. The older guard gave his comrade several instructions and off he popped inside the sand stone walled building. He was left in silence for a while until the guard returned with a man in a smart khaki uniform, a sword on one hip and a pistol on the other.

"Come with me" The officer didn't even turn to check that Harith was following him as he walked briskly across a lawn on the inside of the Lodge. Harith wasn't even aware so much green existed in the capital but the garden here was lush and a huge contrast to the world outside. The officer entered the lodge on the far side of the law and walked briskly through a twist and turn of corridors before pushing open a heavy door and motioning Harith to go inside. Harith hesitated he had no idea what was on the other side but at the second nod of the head towards the open door he complied and inside he saw three men dressed in a similar fashion to the first sat behind a long table.

"Take a seat." the central of the three pointed at a chair on the door side of the table. "I am Lt-Col El-Ghazzawy of the Sultan's Army. These are my aide's. I need you to tell me what you have been given as a message." Harith took the seat and readied himself to speak and was surprised when the man who had escorted him appeared beside him with a silver tray, "Please take a tea" El-Ghazzawy instructed him and Harith picked up the ornate glass cup and thanked the host. The first officer then served each of his comrades before taking the final glass and taking a seat on the narrow edge of the table a notebook and pen at the ready. Harith spent the next thirty minutes telling his story and answering their questions. "Harith. Thank you for bringing this to our attention." El-Ghazzawy rounded the table and shook his hand. The officer who had been scribing handed the Lt-Col a note. "This Harith is a note to the boarding house at the east gate. It also tells the gatekeepers that you are to be permitted to come and go without a fee for the next month. I would like you to stay in the city for the next 3 days while we make some decisions."

"Am I being told to stay?" Harith was surprised that a man of such a high status was being rather polite and wondered whether this was merely a iron hand in a velvet glove.

"Not at all." El-Ghazzawy seemed shocked. "I am a man who says what is meant clearly. I would like you to stay. If you would like to leave then I wish you good travels. It would though be useful for us to have you nearby if needed."

"Thank you then." Harith took the note and carefully placed it in the leather pouch on his belt. "I have never actually stayed inside the city walls." he added as he was escorted out by the Lt-Col.

With Harith gone the Lt-Col addressed his aides. "Prepare an expeditionary force, if the story is correct and the Anazzah are going to start portioning off land against the Sultan's rules then we may need to take action. I'd like to have the Air Force fly over the area too. I know the tribes out there have a habit of taking things into their own hands believing they are outside the vision of the Sultan. A jet flying over them a few times a day will hopefully let them see our eyes can get everywhere."

Offline Wadden

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Re: The War of Wool
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2020, 09:47:36 PM »
The Sultan's Air Force were perhaps best described as part timers. If they got more than two hours flying in a month they considered themselves lucky or perhaps if you were unlucky. If you got more than two hours in then something usually was going wrong and the hour you'd spent sat on the nations single airfield used by the Air Force had been interupted by some clown of an Air Traffic Controller mistaking a flock of birds for some invading bomber. Today for Flight Liutenant Nizar El-Hashem things were a little exciting for a change. He found his F-20 Sirocco loaded not with bombs and missiles but a camera. The Sultan and his commanders were keen to see that things out in the deep desert were not getting out of hand. A tribe fencing off parcels of land for their own ends was against the agreements made by all the tribes in the early 1700's. The flight across the desert was rather simple as Waddan was as flat as a pancake for the vast majority of its land mass and by sticking at around 500 feet you would avoid everything. All that was to do was to fly on a set bearing from the airfield to Murqquab take a few pictures, reverse the heading and land. It should have been a routine operation.

Nearing the village Nizar lowered his airspeed as much as possible so that the aircraft was flying just a few knots above its stall speed  a move that gave him a chance to view the scene and see if he could spot any areas worthy of taking pictures of. He jinked the nose of the plane slightly to the left having spotted what to his fast moving eye appeared to be building work. He lined the jet up and pressed the button to begin the camera. He imagined that if some fancy pilot from Tamora or Royal Seleucid were doing this work the camera would roll digital images into a memory bank but instead he could hear a mechanical whirl as film shot through the camera at high speed. He made several passes from different angles until he believed he had got everything. It was probably good that he had as the film had just about run out when he turned for home back across the desert.

As the aircraft departed the milita men in Murqquab were concerned. "What will happen if they have seen our fencing?" One young man asked.

"The Sultan will likely send people to negotiate, they will likely make a show but our Chief will talk for us and we'll get the Sultan's support in matters." The elder said confidently.



"What is this junk?" Wing Commander Sulayman Abbas screamed in the face of the Corporal who had brought him the images. "Either I have developed cataracts or somebody has messed up my film." He tossed the hazy picture back at the NCO and shook his head. "How am I supposed to tell the Sultan what is going on in the desert when we can't even film it."

"Sir the camera is from the 1970's, the film left over from the 1980's. I think our whole supply is ruined if I'm being honest." The Corporal suspected this answer was not what the Wing Commander would approve of but facts were facts.

"You mean that useless bastard Kuliqma didn't bother to keep a decent stock?" Abbas had inherited his role as head of Air Force Intelligence just a month ago and this had been his first actual sortie. He had a list of jobs he needed to do and checking supplies of film was rather low down on the list of priorities and now it had come back to bite him. "He better pray I don't bump into him at the Palace." Abbas placed the images into a folder and tossed them into a briefcase. "For all the good that it will do us." he stormed out and to the palace.



"Wing Commander I do not hold you responsible" The Sultan half smiled at seeing the images. "The aircraft has written on the side of it the name "Sultan's Air Force" it therefore should be my responsibility to ensure those serving in it can do so to the best of their ability. You can be assured that when we can I will provide you with the newer equipment you need. One issue remains though and that is that we have no way of getting out there. I do though hope that I may be able to rectify that but it is one that will shame me." The Sultan called for his scribe to come in and dictated a note to him that would be transmitted accordingly.  "It is my hope Wing Commander that we may soon have a solution to your problem."




To:- His Majesty King Heydar of Royal Seleucid

There are two purposes for me writing to you at this time.

The first is naturally of greatest significance. On behalf of all the tribes of Waddan and myself I wish to offer congratulations to the Soter family on the birth of  Prince Aali Akakois. It is pleasing to see you blessed with another son and we hope with another on its way. In honour of the birth we have put aside a newborn stallion from the royal stables and each tribe have gifted a breeding pair of camels as a gift to the newborn Prince. We shall naturally ship these as soon as arrangements can be made so that the Prince's guardians can utilise them as best as possible to ensure the Prince has a strong start in life. In our culture a man is only as strong as the herds he owns and we hope to help establish a strong foundation for little Aali Akakois' herd.

My second reason for contacting you is more of a diplomatic nature and is frankly embarassing. We have currently some potential disputes between tribes in the desert however due to the fact they are deep in the desert we sent aircraft to take images of the area to help us ascertain whether there is need for our intervention. Unfortunatly the aircraft tasked with the job failed to get accurate images of the area because of the age of our resources. A failure to take sufficent care of our imaging systems means we are unable to take viable pictures. I am afraid therefore that I must ask for your nations support. I would request that we could perhaps loan aircraft capable of taking accurate imaging of the area. I know this is a significantly large request but any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.

Blessings to your family.

Sultan Yahya IV of the Unified Tribes of Waddan

Online DaveIronside

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Re: The War of Wool
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2020, 07:58:19 PM »

To:- Sultan Yahya IV

I am grateful to the generous people of Waddan for their gifts to Prince  Aali Akakois and hope that in the New Year myself and our expanding family can visit Waddan in person.

In regards to your situation regarding aerial photography you can expect four of our F-21 to arrive in the next 48 hours. They will be carrying aerial reconnaissance and electronic monitoring equipment and will fly sorties as directed by your military, they will not however carry weaponry in your nation.

We hope this helps you solve the issues that your currently face.

Best Regards

King Heydar

Offline Wadden

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Re: The War of Wool
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2020, 09:26:28 PM »
With the arrival of the Seleucid fighters and their mission completed the Sultan was now fully aware of the situation going on around the area of Murqquab. The images returned showed members of the Anazzah tribe spooling long lengths of wire across the desert and in particular around the watering hole close by. What mainly concerned the Sultan however was about 5km east of the settlement. There was a good patch of harsh grassland, it wasn't much to look at but it would provide enough sustinance for a herd of animals for at least a week and according the the rules of the nomadic routes it was land that should in just a few days be handed over to the Nammir ibn Qasit tribe. The problem was the Anazzah tribe had established an outpost there with some kind of ditch system for defence and a string of wire around it.

"The Anazzah are not sharing the land as directed. We can see that they have no intention of leaving and if that happens then either we'll see violence or if the Nammir ibn Qasit don't fight for the land they'll struggle to support their livestock. We must make sure the Anazzah respect the law otherwise we'll see a cascade effect, the Nammir ibn Qasit will begin to horde the land, then the tribe they stop and so on. It would create chaos."

"Hmmm" The Sultan mumbled, "We shall give everyone a chance to cool their heads." The Sultan motioned for a middle aged man to approach the table he was sat around with his advisers. "Take down what I say." He announced.

"Of course My Lord." The man sat on a cushion and pulled a small desk like platform over his knees while he readied his paper and pen. "Whenever you are ready My Lord." He held the pen quivering over the paper.

"Be it ordered that every tribe must by the height of the sun on the 8th day of November be encamped in either its tribal towns or on the land allocated to it by the Book of Tribes. Any tribe failing to be encamped shall be escorted to either their nearest tribal town or the land allocated by the Book of Tribes by the Sultan's Armed Forces. Any tribes resisting this escort or preventing its good ordered progress shall be arrested by the military and face justice at the court of the Sultan. The military will use whatever means they see fit to remove obsticles to this command. We demand all tribes comply with this decree."

The scribe finished writing and read the note back to the Sultan who simply nodded that he was satisfied with it. "Have every tribe informed by the usual messengers. Have the military placed on standby."

Offline Wadden

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Re: The War of Wool
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2020, 10:37:37 PM »
OOC - Some parts agreed with Dave.

The time to comply with the Sultan's Land Decree had now come and gone meaning that every single Waddanite must either be in the odd scattered villages and small towns that belonged to each tribe or alternatively be on land assigned to them by the Book of Tribes. Across the nation members of the armed forces were checking people were complying with the Book of Tribes a document held as practically sacred by the Waddanites because it allocated a rota of land use to every tribe to every usable piece of pasture land. It was a system that had held the nation in good shape since the tribes had agreed to unify into a single nation. Now all that was needed was the reports from those in the field as to whether the tribes had listened to their Sultan.

The Sultan was now sat in a large dining room in the rather unimposing palace. A variety of maps were spread across the table with the sultan sat on his favourite chair at the centre point. Around him members of his family and the military were looking over various reports and taking messages from aides coming in and out of the room. Each time someone did a flag was placed on the maps and soon over the hours more and more were placed and the map was becoming dominated by green flags each representing a complying tribe or settlement. The Sultan was beginning to get drowsey and it was only when a young officer appeared and placed a red flag on the map followed by a small wooden block with a number one painted on it. "Explain" The Sultan sat upright his interest grasped.

"Your Majesty" the officer bowed, "The Anazzah are occupying an oasis close to Murqquab, it should currently be avaliable to the Marar tribe."

"What has happened to the Marar?" The Sultan was concerned as the Marar tribe was the smallest in the nation and if the census was correct it was only 500 people and therefore highly unlikely to be able to protect themselves. If the Anazzah were denying them the use of the land then there was little the small tribe could do.

"Thankfully Your Majesty Chief Zahir Khoroushi of the Naqbiyin has the rights to the oasis that the Marar should have left in order to move to Murqquab and has granted them permission to share their land for now." The Sultan knew the tribes rather well and for the last few months he knew that Chief Khoroushi had been trying to persuade the Chief of the Marar to marry his daughter to his own grandson. Naturally by being so gratious as to not put the Marar at risk he would no doubt gain favour for the arrangement. "We're planning an ultimatum to be sent to the Anazzah." The officer added.

"Liutenenat" the Sultan sighed "I have two tasks for you. The first is I wish you to go down to the stables, select a nice young foal and have it presented to Chief Khoroushi, a man who would share his water and grass in a time of danger is a man I respect. The second task is for you to have our air force strike those on the land the Marar should occupy. There is no need for a warning. I gave clear instructions that all must comply. How would I look if I know did nothing when someone so blatantly defies me." The young officer was a little shocked but knew once the Sultan had spoken it was often a mistake to question him.

"Yes. Your Majesty." The officer saluted and made his way to pass on the orders.



Over at the airbase around 20km North of the capital the duty aircrew were a little surprised at what was happening today. Their A-6 Haboob aircraft were being loaded with live munitions. The aircraft wouldn't be flying alone either. Following the issues with the camera equipment the Sultan had requested the Seleucid aircraft to help on the sortie. When it came time to go the Waddanite duo of aircraft went first with a single Seleucid F-21. As they closed on the target the F-21 however went ahead and the pilot used the more sophisticated sensors and visioning equipment to plot the various positions of people clearly carrying weapons. The pilot relayed that information to the following Haboob aircraft who launched a pair of bombs towards their target. They exploded and soon after the F-21 witnessed people running for the open desert as the trio of aircraft made several passes but fired no other weaponary confident that the Sultan's message had been passed.



It was late afternoon by the time the shocked and battered survivors of the air-strike made their way into Murqquab. As they arrived they saw a helicopter and a group of soldiers holding several members of the village at gunpoint. Chief Jamal al-Din Zaman was being held between two camoflauge wearing men. "Chief you have defied the decree of the Sultan. In his mercy he has granted you permission to live." A Major spoke reading from a document. "For the next five years you shall pay a tribute of five head of cattle, four goat and ten sheep to the Sultan and each of his two oldest sons. In addition your youngest daughter shall reside with the Sultan as his daughter for the next 10 years or until she reaches the age of 20." The young girl was being held under the grasp of two men dragging her towards the helicopter.

"Please, don't take my girl" The Chief begged but it was pointless. Had this been any other nation the Chief would likely be imprisoned for his action but as Waddan had no real prison system this was the next best thing. Holding the family of Chief's "Hostage" was one way of ensuring loyalty and happened fairly often infact any time the Sultan left the nation every tribe was expected to send one of their daughters to the capital to be held hostage until the Sultan returned safe. While it was a harsh term, hostage, the individual was not harmed nor really imprisoned.  The Sultan would protect the girl, would as he had promised deal with her as his own daughter and infact she would probably know a better standard of life than with her tribe. The problem was in that time she would have no contact with her father or anyone else from the tribe. It was another long term strategy to gain loyalty. The girl would hopefully learn to love the Sultan and would take the new devotion and loyalty to him back to the tribe. Once the girl was secure in the helicopter it headed back to the capital leaving the Chief devestated that his family was split and his plan to make his tribe stronger in tatters.

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Re: The War of Wool
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2020, 11:35:27 PM »
Zaahira had spent the last few days sat at the window overlooking the old city walls and weeping. She tried to imagine what things where happening back home, had the tribe moved on or was it still in the town of Murqquab. She knew in the back of her mind that if her father, Chief Jamal al-Din Zaman, didn't do as the Sultan asked that she would be killed but such things hadn't happened in over a 100 years. She didn't know though when anyone from her tribe would see her again even her own family. She was about to start crying again when a knock on her door startled her and the door swung open. A young woman of about 18 was stood there. The robes she wore were pretty and so Zaahira thought that this must be someone important.

"Hello Zaahira" the young woman greeted her. "My name is Amaal, I am the Sultan's daughter." In truth she was his illegitimate daughter but her father had always treated her well and granted her a noble title despite the fact that her mother was just a wool spinner in the Sultan's household. "I have a friend who wants to meet you." Without entering the room Amaal sat down in the door way and slid a wicker basket in front of her and motioned for Zaahira to sit opposite. Very carefully Amaal lifted the lid and a fient "meow" could be heard as the tiny white kitten came into view. Amaal carefully extracted the kitten and handed him over to the young girl. "Now you have to take good care of him ok." Amaal smiled as she watched Zaahira carefully put the kitten onto her lap and begin petting him.

"I will. Thank you" the 10 year old girl was already in love with the creature who was beginning to use her as a climbing frame. "What's his name?" She asked as she giggled from the cat trying to find a way inside her robes.

"That's for you to work out" Amaal reached to her side and picked up a wooden box bringing it into the room and placing it on the table. "Here is everything he'll need" she stood watching the pair of new friends get to know each other.

"I'll call him Sadiq" Zaahira announced selecting the word for "Friend" as the kittens new name. The fient purr of contentment from him seemed like he approved. Cats had always been part of the tribes, not in a religious manner as the people of Clysperis held them but from a rather more practical view point. They kept away the mice and scorpions that could be a menace in the nomadic desert society the Waddanites lived in and practically every family had a cat or two and usually this was the responsibility of the girls to look after. "Thank you"

"You are welcome" Amaal prepared to leave. "I'll come and say hello to you and Sadiq in the morning. Try and get some sleep" and with that the Sultan's daughter was gone pleased that in some way she'd helped the young girl feel a little less afraid of her new life here in the Palace.



450km North of the capital Chief Jamal al-Din Zaman was sat up in his half ruined home in Murqquab. It had been a disasterous few weeks for the Anazzah tribe. First they'd been attacked by some unknown tribe, then they had defied the Sultan hoping to bring him to negotiate some kind of agreement with them. That move had backfired spectacularly and they had felt the wrath of the Air Force further bloodying the tribe. Such was Jamal's self pity that he hardly noticed his cousin Fazal enter the home. Locks were unheard of in Murqquab and even when three herdsman of the tribe walked in he hardly moved. The platform on which his wife and three remaining children slept saw some moving as the sound awoke them. "Cousin" Fazal took a seat opposite the chief. "I am sorry but you have ruined the tribe, you have angered the Sultan and left us in ruin. I can not allow that" Jamal did not move as his cousin fired a single bullet into his temple and didn't hear the shots that finished off his wife and children. The sound of gunfire had alerted the tribe that the grim business was done. Earlier in the day Fazal had consulted with the tribal elders in secret and they agreed that there was no way they could get back into the Sultan's good graces with Jamal at the helm and Fazal was the only heir to the chiefdom if the rest of Jamal's family were dead.

Outside Fazal took to the settlements walled well to address the crowd. "We have done what had to be done. All of us have had family killed under Jamal's leadership. He has turned the Sultan against us and brought the wrath of the Air Force upon us. No way can we fight back, no way can we stand against the Sultan's men. We must seek reconciliation and that means we must now follow me. I promise you I will do all I can to bring the tribe back to prosperity." There was no applause everyone knew what Fazal had done was needed but they were not happy about it. "Dispatch our message." Fazal addressed the herdsman that had helped him carry out the grim business.



It took only 25km of riding for the tribes rider to find a military patrol and they helped conduct him speedily to the capital where soon he found himself before the Sultan who was sat in his large wooden chair attired in blue robes. "Your Majesty" the man knelt before the Sultan and placed a wicker basket between them. "I have come on behalf of the Anazzah tribes new Chief, Fazal al-Din Zaman . We wish to show our loyalty and we wish to show you that we have already taken steps to prove ourselves." He removed the lid of the basket and allowed the Sultan to look inside. "We bring you the head of the traitor Jamal as proof we shall follow our Sultan" The man awaited the warm response of the old Sultan but instead found a foot connecting with his face cutting his lip and nose. He fell backwards onto the floor just in time to catch another kick this time in the testicles leaving him a bleeding weeping mess. Two of the Sultan's guards had begun to move forward but a simple hand gesture from their leader stopped them.

"You bring such a thing to my house. How much have I offended you?" the Sultan replaced the lid on the basket. "How the Anazzah determine the leadership of their tribe is of no concern of mine. That is your right. To bring the gory mess of your savagery to my home is an insult." The Sultan reached under his robe and fished two gold sovereign coins out. The items were usually reserved for rewarding individuals for their good work for the Sultan or on special occasions. "Take one for your journey. The other is for your new chief." It was tradition that a new Chief was presented with such a coin as a gift by the Sultan and tradition was important to him. "Now I suspect you have also come to ask me to execute Zaahira." The Sultan returned to his throne and watched as the man nodded. "Hmmm. Tell Chief Fazal al-Din Zaman that the Sultan keeps his word. I promised that Zaahira would be safe with me so long as her father did not attack me. Now unless ghosts can attack me that is now not going to happen. Zaahira therefore will be my daughter until she reaches the age of 20 at which point she may return to your tribe and then whoever is Chief must determine what shall befall her. Now get out of my sight." The Sultan waited for the man to limp out before summoning a Priestess to deal with the head. "Call my son Mahfuz." The Sultan instructed his Chamberlain while he sat waiting patiently.

His bastard son Mahfuz soon arrived. He was a man in a similar ilke to Lady Amaal, his mother was a cook in the Palace that the Sultan had taken a liking to 32 years ago and now headed a contingent of the Sultan's security and occasionally did some of the dirtier work required by the Sultan. "My son" The Sultan embraced Mahfuz with genuine warmth. "I need you to begin making a plan to remove Zaahira from our lands. I wish her somewhere safe, somewhere that should any rouge member of the Anazzah take it upon themselves to do her harm they will find it difficult. I made a promise she would be safe until her 20th birthday in my care and I shall honour that."

Mahfuz had heard what had happened with the messenger from the Anazzah and had actually expected the call to be asking him to execute the girl. He had thought that was out of character for his father but the last few weeks had been crazy and so he hadn't ruled out anything. He was though happy that this was his task and not having to kill a child. "Father I shall see to it. Until then I'll place some of my men at her door at all times."

"My son I never doubt you" The Sultan kissed his son on the forehead. "These are strange days we're experiencing and I know you'll get things done." His son was proud of having his father's confidence and so simply bowed and headed off to see to the security of Zaahira.