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Thread: EBII AAR: The Secret History of the Saka

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    Default EBII AAR: The Secret History of the Saka

    NOTE: This is my first AAR. I'm trying to write it in the style of an ancient epic. The name is based off of the The Secret History of the Mongols. This is the first chapter, or "book". Hope you enjoy it.

    When man learned to tame the wild steppe horses
    The whole land was beholden to his might
    When man learned to hunt with his trusty bow
    Great empires fell from the arrow’s strike.
    By the charge of the Eternal Sky Lord,
    Bring me the words to recite the great tale
    Of how the Saka conquered the great steppes,
    Subjected the decadent Yavanas,
    And came to rule over all of the land.

    Book I: The Struggle for Unity
    From the seat of his horse, Azes gazed on
    At the great army assembled by him
    In the name of the Saka Rrudi
    His own father, Sapalbizes the Great.
    By the work of his own hands, he had brought
    The feuding Saka tribes into one horde
    He had decreed that the tribes were destined
    To bring their authority over
    All the nomads in the great endless steppes
    Their armies marched from Chighu’s sweet comfort
    To unite the tribes in their new homeland
    Many tribesman submitted to his rule
    But countless still scorned the Great Rrudi.
    When winter fell over the land, Azes
    Took his men and had them plunder the herds
    Of enemy tribes plotting against them.
    They moved swift over the frozen rivers
    And seized the livestock of their deadly foes
    Bearing the animals victorious
    Back to the snow-swept plains of their Chighu.
    The chieftain of the enemy Kangju,
    Kharda the Ruthless, plotted revenge for
    The foul theft of their horse, goats, and cows.
    In one of their camps, known simply as Chach,
    They found a Saka, known as Miyika,
    Branded him a spy of the enemy,
    And slew him for his evil treachery
    Though there was no evidence to prove so.
    Kharda, allied with Homartes of Chach,
    Formed a great horde with which they would attack
    The camp of fine Raudäka Aryandes.
    At the break of dawn, the Kangju did strike,
    The hooves of horses thundered over snow.
    The Saka mustered their best fighting men
    And routed the army of the Kangju!

    Still those foul men were not satisfied yet,
    So they gathered in the mountain passes,
    And waited for brave Oxyboakes
    Tall and proud, he was a true Saka man
    Renowned for his fearlessness in battle.
    Yet again, the Kangju were defeated,
    Struck down by the folly of arrogance,
    Oxyboakes, joining with his prince,
    Laid siege to Chach in vengeance for their dead.
    In the north, opportunistic Saka
    Renounced their ties to great Sapalbizes.
    Even joined with the army of Azes,
    The rebellious horde was still larger.
    But the loyal Saka trusted their king,
    So Sapalbizes triumphed once again.
    Jikhona, the traitor’s organizer,
    Was put to death for his most evil deeds.
    Tribal unity was restored once more
    Artisans worked without fear of murder,
    Forging great beauty out of their metals,
    And the numbers of their herds swelled greatly.
    Another people, the Sugda, allied
    With the Saka, bringing their best fighters
    Into their overlord’s fierce armies.
    They took Antiocheia Eschate,
    One of the cities the Yavanas built,
    Merging into the steppe federation.
    In the Saka domain, alien ways
    Were blended with the nomad’s traditions
    And a new way of life began to form.
    At the same time, Homartes met the fate
    Of his old ally Kharda in battle
    The Saka slew him in the camp of Chach
    And the Kangju were finally conquered.
    The allied Sugda prepared for winter
    On the path of the Râh-e Abrisham
    When a Yavanas army from the south
    Captured their camp and made slaves out of them.
    The sons of the Rrudi promised their men,
    “As long as Druvaspa grants our steeds speed
    To chase after the cowardly slavers
    And bring sweet freedom back to our tribesmen,
    The Yavanas shall live in fear of us!”
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I went to the danger zone.

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    Default Re: EBII AAR: The Secret History of the Saka

    Book II: The Unjust Fate of Men
    An army was assembled to march south,
    Led by the prince Aryandes and his kin
    He was soon joined by Zeionises’ men
    And Oxyboakes’ skilled warriors.
    When they learned where the Yavanas were camped,
    They set up an ambush in the bare hills
    Above the old rod to Marakanda
    The army of the Yavanas marched on
    Ignorant of the Saka watching them.
    The battle trumpet signaled the attack,
    The drums of war rolled deep like thunder’s march
    The Saka rode down the grassy steppe hills
    Their arrows pierced the air like birds in flight
    The Yavanas walked their last on that day.
    Further to the west, Sapalbizes marched
    Into the lands of the Alantae tribes
    Their chieftain, Asparung, learned of the horde
    Massing on the edges of his clan’s land
    He rode out swiftly to greet them in war
    And routed the armies of the Rrudi.
    Great Sapalbizes promised to return
    When he could muster more Saka horsemen.
    Runners brought him news of the siege upon
    The haughty Baktrans of Marakanda.
    He smiled and said, “Their cruelty shall be
    The cause of their most desired demise.
    Their people will rise up in revolt soon
    This I know in the bottom of my bones.”

    Seeking to strengthen the federation,
    He sent out an emissary, Shafar,
    To the land of the bold Mazakata
    And offer them an esteemed place in the
    Growing domain of the Saka Rauka.
    Some of them accepted in great wisdom,
    Yet others still refused the Rrudi’s reign.
    The allied tribes laid siege to Bukharak
    And urged the rebel leader, Urgaspa
    To capitulate to the Sakas’ rule.
    Poor fool, he refused to acknowledge them
    Claiming that the gods were on his men’s side.
    His head was soon rotting upon a pike.
    This was to be the last great victory
    Rrudi Sapalbizes lived to witness.
    Three days after, he lay dead in his tent
    The knife in his chest was of Baktran make!
    The Yavanas had a great commander,
    Apollodotos Agathekleious,
    A veteran warrior and survivor
    Of countless battles against many foes.
    With Antigenes Antimachou, they
    Marched to Marakanda and struck the horde.
    The Saka retreated, but not for long
    For Apollodotos came upon them,
    Outwitted Raudäka Aryandes, who
    Had just be declared Rrudi Aryandes,
    And killed many of the Saka’s best men
    Forcing them to flee into their own lands.
    Apollodotos almost followed them
    But was ordered by his king to return.
    The poor warlord Aryandes was left
    With a scattered camp of exhausted men.
    They had been dazzled by the great city,
    Tasted fine wines plundered from its vineyards,
    And now they were back upon the fierce steppe,
    Their beloved chieftain dead, and their new king
    Beaten back by the Yavanas’ power.
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I went to the danger zone.

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    Default Re: EBII AAR: The Secret History of the Saka

    Book III: Shadow of the Father
    The finest of Sapalbizes’ livestock
    Was sacrificed during his burial
    So he may enjoy them in the next world.
    He wore armor made of glittering gold
    Studded with gems from his recent conquests.
    He was buried beneath the windswept plains
    That his ancestors’ horses first grazed on.
    A great stone was placed on top of his grave
    To mark his eternal rest for all time.
    Rrudi Aryandes was left with his father’s
    Great war saddle to fill as the ruler.
    He held influence over the new tribes
    Incorporated into their domain,
    But not over much else beyond his lands.
    Worse yet, he was not a good warrior.
    He struggled with tactics in the battle
    And failed to inspire the men he led.
    At first, his reign was blessed with one triumph:
    He sent Shafar to the Pahlavân land
    And won the allegiance of some tribesmen
    But the war with the Yavanas worsened.
    Apollodotos and the confident
    Antigenes attacked Saka armies
    Led by the noble but young Chastana.
    When they tried to flee from the Baktrans’ might
    They were pursued until they met in war
    And defeat always followed afterwards.
    Aryandes sacrificed to the war god
    But the swords of his men killed few Baktrans.
    He sought the advice of wizened elders
    But Saka tribesmen continued to die.
    The settled south and the steppe north
    Differed more than the Saka ever thought.
    Ssandramata, goddess of the earth
    And fertility must have liked the south
    For the farmlands were green with many crops
    An emerald oasis in the dry
    Barren mountains that protected Baktra.

    Despite their setbacks, the Saka fought hard
    They trained their boys in their nomadic camps
    So when they were older, they could ride south
    And avenge the cruel deaths of their fathers.
    In the royal camp, Aryandes plotted
    To launch a great, victorious campaign
    But Apollodotos never fought
    When the sun, Urmaysde, shone so brightly
    He fought in the dead of the bitter night
    Taking advantage of the horde’s blindness
    When the sun sunk below the mountains.
    Yet not all of the Yavanas were pleased
    With the man who called himself their chieftain
    Part of the Baktran army revolted
    And set siege to their kingdom’s capital
    But when word came that Apollodotos
    Would take his army south and slaughter them
    They fled for the distant hills and caverns
    Taking their food and water by sword-point
    From the poor and desperate farming men.
    A scout force of the Baktran king found them,
    Lured them out of their hiding and into
    A carefully orchestrated ambush.
    Soundly defeated, the rebel Baktrans
    Fled north to the Saka federation.
    They were warmly received by the nomads
    Yet the Saka could not help but laugh when
    The Yavanas swore to serve the Rrudi
    They were pledging their lives to a duffer.
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I went to the danger zone.

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    Default Re: EBII AAR: The Secret History of the Saka

    Book IV: A Turn of Fate
    Apollodotos was disgusted by
    The poor treatment of his fellow soldiers
    At the hands of the cruel Baktran ruler.
    He begged the king to pardon the traitors,
    But he refused to forgive the rebels.
    “They are cowards, the whole lot of those pigs
    Let them live alongside the barbaroi!”
    Now, among the Yavanas of Baktra,
    There were those from the land of Makedon,
    Those who hailed from the faraway Hellas,
    And the children of settlers and natives.
    Those Baktrans are called Heterogenes
    And Apollodotos was one of them.
    He knew that most of the rebel Baktrans
    Were either native or not of pure blood.
    Indeed, he was looked down upon those
    Who could claim pure Yavanas ancestry.
    He was furious that the king could call
    His very own countrymen barbaroi.
    Apollodotos suddenly recalled
    The words of the Makedon king known as
    Megas Alexandros to the Baktrans,
    The ruler that conquered the Chorsari:
    “Every bad Yavanas is barbaroi;
    Every good barbaroi is Yavanas.”
    He went to the tent of Antigenes
    And told him his dangerous intentions.
    In the morning, they told their soldiers that
    They would no longer serve their brutal king.
    Instead of protecting Marakanda
    From the reach of marauding Saka hordes
    They marched on the city and laid a siege.
    When it fell to the might of their swordsmen
    They proclaimed allegiance to Aryandes.

    Rebellious Baktrans plundered the farms
    Of noblemen that supported the king.
    The city of Baktra itself soon fell
    To the Yavanas serving the Rrudi.
    Soon, taxes on caravans filled coffers
    Of the Saka with fine gold and silver.
    The riches of the east flowed through their lands.
    At the orders of Rrudi Aryandes
    The emissary Shafar traveled west
    Across the kingdoms of the Yavanas
    To a nation set high in the mountains
    Called by its hardy people Hayasdan.
    An alliance was promptly formed
    Between the wise Arkah and the Rrudi.
    The latter, proud of his recent conquests
    (Which were all earned by the blood of Baktrans)
    Sought to subdue the tough Huwarazmish
    But was pushed back in the western deserts.
    Never did the head of the royal camp
    Consider that he was no soldier king.
    When Apollodotos, now bearing the
    Banner of the Saka horde, assaulted
    Oskobara, the last Baktran foothold,
    Took the city and killed the evil king,
    Aryandes claimed the hard work was all his.
    He sneered at the foreign deities that
    His new general thanked for his success
    Saying, “Who is this most strange Artemis
    Or Anahita, or Athena, or
    Any other god you sacrifice to?”
    From that day to the end of his days,
    His wife would not carry another child.
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I went to the danger zone.

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    Default Re: EBII AAR: The Secret History of the Saka

    Book V: The Growth of an Empire
    Apollodotos and Antigenes
    Joined with Raudäka Oxyboakes
    And went on campaign against the hordes of
    Pidan the Slothful and Vanaspara
    Both kings of the Haomavarga tribe
    And vanquished them on the great battlefield.
    They soon set siege to the tribe’s camp, Oyrta,
    Kept at bay only by a wooden wall.
    In the western deserts, Aryandes, his
    Brother Zeionises, and Chastana,
    A confident young man seeking to prove
    His worth not only in eagle hunting,
    But in commanding a great Saka horde,
    Assembled a mighty army with which
    They would march of the city of Khiva
    Belonging to the Huwarazmish tribe
    The locals prayed to their favorite god,
    Known in their tongue as Ahura Mazda,
    To banish the mighty nomadic force.
    But the Saka host triumphed in the end,
    Just as Oxyboakes took Oyrta.
    Still the Saka were not content with their
    New conquests, for Apollodotos soon
    Brought his great army to Orthospana
    And took it from the Uparisena.
    The nomads’ herds swelled larger than ever,
    For now they had far more lands to graze in.
    The elite flaunted their newfound riches
    Filling their simple food with rare spices
    Looted from distant eastern settlements,
    And sharing war stories of distant lands,
    Of Haoma drinkers and Yavanas.
    Oxyboakes continued to fight,
    Now against the eastern Yuezhi nomads,
    Winning countless battles against that tribe.
    But the Saka were not the only ones
    Whose herds grazed upon the mighty steppe lands.
    The Pahlavâns watched the expansion of their
    Deadly northern neighbors with great concern.
    When a Saka tribe strayed into their realm,
    They attacked them and killed their warriors.

    At this time, Aryandes had marched northwards
    To conquer the tribe of the Alantae.
    Their chieftain, Tsaegaer, defeated him,
    Pushing him back to the western deserts.
    The news of the attack came days later
    As the Rrudi brought his army along
    The ancient caravan routes of traders.
    “This grave offense shall not be forgotten,”
    The warlord proclaimed to his warriors,
    “If they want to wage war, they shall have it.”
    He planned to lead the invasion army,
    But an unexpected illness struck him,
    So young Chastana commanded his horde,
    While Aryandes brooded alone, stuck in
    Khiva, the town of the western wastelands.
    Chastana was twice the warlord he was,
    And defeated a Pahlavân army
    Led by swift Varâzdad ę Dahâën.
    While the Rrudi recovered, his brother
    Zeionises marched on the Alantae,
    Even besieging Gava-Alanna.
    When he became well, he rushed north to fight,
    But an Alantae war band beat him first.
    Ashamed by his countless defeats, he went
    Back to Khiva, never again planning
    To lead a horde onto the battlefield.
    That would be the work of his brothers, his
    Yavanas generals, and his children.
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I went to the danger zone.

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    NOTE: This may be one of my last posts for a while. Hopefully, I'll find the time this fall to continue.

    Book VI: A Son of Convenience
    After a season of siege, the Saka
    Launched their attack upon Orthospana.
    The Uparisena leader, known as
    Yazdâbân, sallied forth from the city
    But the forces of Apollodotos
    Swarmed his army and crushed it utterly.
    The Saka horsemen sacked Orthospana,
    Focusing their destruction on the shrine
    Of Dionysos, who was worshipped much
    Throughout Baktra and neighboring kingdoms.
    The gold and silver of the temple was
    Carried north by victorious nomads
    And the wealth found its way to tax coffers.
    Now the Saka could afford a full war
    Against the kingdom of the Pahlavâns.
    A nomad horde soon surrounded the town
    Of Antiocheia Margiane.
    The ranks of this army was bolstered by
    Veterans who had fought in the mountains
    And eastern deserts against the Yuezhi.
    They were proud of their recent victory
    Against the chieftain called Hippostratos.
    His rotting body now dangled from the
    Wooden palisades of Yuezhi Sulek.
    Chastana was sent to the settlement
    But a Pahlavân force intercepted
    His army and routed the Saka horde.
    The commanders of the enemy host,
    Were confident Hârâsp ę Dahâën
    And the veteran warrior Dârmân
    Also from the Dahae federation.
    They marched to their kingdom’s besieged city
    And drove the Saka army from that place.
    Fortunately, Zeionises managed
    To defeat the headstrong Alantae tribes
    And slay their chieftain, Asparung, with aid
    From Alantae who pledged fealty to the
    Growing nomadic confederation.
    Now Zeionises could march south to fight
    The Pahlavâns in their own grazing lands.

    Apollodotos continued to win
    Countless battles into the former realms
    Of the once mighty Chorsari empire
    This time assaulting the Haravautish,
    Victoriously slaying Dorushâb,
    Their king, while his army fled from battle.
    Their new ruler, Tirâvand, fortified
    Alexandropolis against the horde
    Looming closer on the horizon line.
    From the governor’s palace of Khiva,
    Aryandes was pleased at his expanding
    Kingdom, but feared the influence of the
    Popular victor Apollodotos.
    He filled his quarters with loyal soldiers,
    Oversaw the administration of
    His expanding empire, to ensure that
    No disloyal wrench would try to rebel.
    The former Khivan satrapal palace
    Was outfitted with new stone taken
    From the buildings of conquered regions, so
    All in Khiva could know who was Rrudi.
    When he received word that the Baktran had
    Taken Alexandropolis and killed
    The notorious Yavanas warlord
    Nessos Apamenes Syriakos,
    He thought, “It is better to have this man
    Close to my side at all times than far off
    Plotting some nefarious stratagem
    Against my rule. Should he try to kill me
    Then I may learn of his scheme beforehand
    If his manservants are available
    A couple of coins can buy any man.”
    He declared that he now regarded the
    Baktran as his very own son, and found
    A noble Saka family loyal
    To his rule willing to give their fair daughter,
    Pishpasia, to Apollodotos.
    Should he try to betray the King of Kings
    The Saka Rauka would hunt that swine down.
    The Baktran was honored by the offer.
    With great felicity, the Yavanas
    And the fair Saka maiden were married.
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I went to the danger zone.

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    Book VII: The Intoxication of Victory
    The Pahlavân assaulted the Saka
    In the deep of the night, and forced the horde
    To retreat, lest they be slaughtered like pigs.
    But before they could return to their foes’
    Grazing lands, the rivers flooded over
    Turning the most reliable fords to
    Impassable mud pits. So the army
    Camped in the farm fields outside of Khiva
    Preparing themselves for future battles.
    The retreat proved to be a sage choice soon,
    For when Chastana returned to the land
    Of Pahlavâ, he defeated Shahzadag,
    A fierce but noble nomad general.
    His camp was seized, and his gold and silver
    Enrichened the coffers of the Rrudi
    Along with the profit made by selling
    The gray lead from Alexandropolis.
    Antigenes soon joined with Chastana
    And their combined horde soon came to vanquish
    Varâzdad ę Dahâën in the land
    Where his family’s many horses grazed.
    After his marriage, Apollodotos
    Led his army once more on a campaign,
    Besieged Antiocheia Margiane,
    And waited for starvation to set in.

    But not all was well within the Rrudi’s realm.
    Kharaostes, a noble by merit,
    Renounced his part in the Saka domain
    And massacred a nearby army post.
    Aryandes, who had always been fond
    Of the rebel, overlooked these actions
    Despite the dire threat they posed to his reign.
    He instead focused on subjugating
    The rebellious Yavanas brigades
    That populated Baktran countryside.
    The worst of these cutthroats, thieves, and killers,
    Ktesikles Philadelphos, was slain
    His dead body paraded by Saka
    Horsemen as a warning to the Baktrans.
    Such bitter events was sweetened by news
    Of great victories over Pahlavâ.
    Oxyboakes attacked Hârâsp and
    Dârmân, before joining with the Baktran
    Against Antiocheia Margiane.
    The inhabitants, accepting defeat,
    Threw the gates of the city open, and
    Watched the Saka slaughter their fighting men.
    Antigenes surrounded Nisaya,
    The last major bastion of Pahlavâ.
    Total control of the eternal steppe
    Seemed to be just within the Rrudi’s grasp.
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I went to the danger zone.

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    Book VIII: The Final Struggle of a Legend
    Despite the Saka’s expanding kingdom,
    Discontent filled the far-off provinces
    And it was soon after the capture of
    Alexandropolis that the conquered
    Rioted against their new overlords.
    It was soon subdued, and the Rrudi chose
    Oxyboakes the Yancai to watch
    Over the city of the Yavanas.
    Further north, the great Saka horde attacked
    The armies of Pahlavâ, commanded
    By Shardar Phrâpâtes ę Dahâën,
    Varâzdad, Shahzadag, and the mighty
    Tirdâd ę Arshkânig, with his tribesman
    Arshán é Arshkânig, all defeated,
    And their camps raided by their enemies.
    The treacherous Kharaostes tried to
    Aid his fellow Dahae, but his rebels
    Were slaughtered by loyal Saka horsemen.
    Zeionises, helped by Chastana and
    Antigenes, attacked the forces of
    Arshkân and vanquished his Pahlavân host.
    Further good fortune prevailed as robbers
    Around Bukharak, who had raided farms,
    Were put down by Oxyboakes’ men.
    After seasons of campaigning struggle,
    Apollodotos and Antigenes,
    With Zeionises and Chastana, came
    Before the walls of Nisaya, the last
    Great Pahlavân stronghold left in the land.
    The siege on the settlement was long and
    Grueling; close to a year did the Saka
    Wait outside the walls, starving the city.
    Many times did the defenders sally
    Forth, but they could never defeat the horde.
    Likewise, the attacking army could not
    Force their victims to capitulation
    Until the start of the following year.
    But before the Saka could celebrate
    Their subjugation of the eastern steppes,
    The remaining Pahlavâns vowed to fight
    Against the kingdom that had deprived them
    Of their cherished land, women, and freedom.

    Within weeks, the watchmen in Baktra saw
    An army form on the horizon, so
    Vast, it seemed to eclipse the setting
    Sun, for the great force from the western lands
    Was the vengeance of Pahlavâ’s people.
    Thus, now the stone walls of Baktra contained
    The hungry multitude, which decided
    That it was the nomads of the north that
    Had made settled folk like themselves suffer
    For the foul cause of the barbaroi king.
    Yavanas rose up against the Saka,
    Assassinated their governor, and
    And declared their city independent.
    The Pahlavâ had no qualms against the
    Baktrans, so they lifted the siege and marched
    Against Saka forces in the country.
    Defeat after defeat was wrought upon
    An army grown exhausted from distant
    Conquests, which had thinned their once mighty ranks.
    Apollodotos did not follow his
    Countrymen’s example of rebellion,
    Nor did he lose all hope of victory
    Like his Saka subordinates; no, he
    Wrote a letter in the dark of the night
    Illuminated by his oil lamp,
    To his beloved wife Pishpasia,
    Saying, “Dearest one, I know that you are
    Bearing our child, who I hope shall be a
    Hardy, valiant warrior one day
    For I will soon go to Elysium
    In the name of the Saka, whom the gods
    Have destined to rule over the whole world
    Just as in my father’s generation,
    Where Megas Alexandros conquered
    The unstoppable Chorsari army.”
    As dawn broke, he put on his breastplate, took
    His sharpened sword with his new helmet, and
    Gave orders to prepare for the battle.
    The Pahlavân host had already come
    And the mighty din of rattling arms
    Seemed to shake the grounds of the whole steppe lands.
    Drummers battered war drums as the horsemen
    Galloped at full speed towards their final fight.
    Apollodotos led the Saka charge
    His horse flying like the very wind, and
    His spear ready to pierce Pahlavân hearts.
    The two lines collided with vicious hate,
    The cry of dying men and horses mixed.
    Parry to the left, block to the right, and
    A stab to the front; ah! this is true war.
    An enemy spear gave him his mortal
    Wound, but Apollodotos would fight till
    The last drop of his blood had been shed there,
    Upon the ancient sacred battlefield.
    Last edited by strelyat; 12-23-2015 at 21:45.
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I went to the danger zone.

  9. #9
    EBII Bricklayer Member V.T. Marvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: EBII AAR: The Secret History of the Saka

    I like it very much - quite unique approach and a good read!

    The only suggestion, if I may, would be to include a picture now and then just to make the read a bit more pleasing to the eye, or a minimap screenshot to help keeping track with the evolving campaign.

  10. #10
    Horde Chief Member strelyat's Avatar
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    Default Re: EBII AAR: The Secret History of the Saka

    I have attempted to take screenshots from the game, but for some reason my computer won't cooperate. I used the map from EBI here, but I think it communicates the general idea.
    Red is Saka Rauka
    Blue-green is rebellious Baktran province
    Purple is Pahlavân armies
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I went to the danger zone.

  11. #11
    EBII Bricklayer Member V.T. Marvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: EBII AAR: The Secret History of the Saka

    Wow! The vengeance of the Pahlavs is far more horrible than I though, truly terrifying!

    Screenshots can be usually made quite easily actually by pressing "PrtSc" key which produces a screenshot saved in the "tgas" subfolder of your M2TW folder. For conversion from the .tga format to more flexible .jpg or similar one can use free graphic programs like GIMP.
    Last edited by V.T. Marvin; 12-22-2015 at 23:38.

  12. #12
    Horde Chief Member strelyat's Avatar
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    Default Re: EBII AAR: The Secret History of the Saka

    Note: The issue I have with screenshots on my computer is that whenever I screenshot the game in progress, when I try to bring up the .jpg later, the game window is black. I'll keep working on fixing this, and if not, I'll try to maintain an updated map by other means.

    Book IX: The One Steppe
    The full Saka army was full of grief
    At the demise of Apollodotos.
    Yet this sorrow son gave way to sacred
    Vengeance. Not long after the burial,
    Powered by rage and hatred, the Saka
    Struck down the filthy Shardar Shahbarzin
    ę Sakâën, who had deserted to
    The enemy and had looted the arms
    Of Apollodotos after his death.
    Soon after was Shahzadag Râbarzin
    Hellen, Vahrâm Hellen, Vâraz Hellen,
    And other part-Yavanas Pahlavâns
    Who possessed the worst traits of both peoples
    All slain by Oxyboakes, the strong
    Chastana, and Antigenes,
    Who had been close to Apollodotos
    And was therefore the most vengeful of all,
    Dragging the flayed corpses of these men from
    A rope tied to his powerful steppe horse.

    When Zeionises arrived to support
    The war effort, the early success of
    Pahlavâ disappeared as their mortal
    Foe strove to eliminate them under the
    Banner of honoring a great fighter.
    Also at this time, Baktra was taken
    Once again, and all of its men
    Were put to the sword for their foul actions.
    The war was not without its brutal costs,
    So Shafar journeyed to the south to urge
    The Seleukids to lend military
    Against the cruel Pahlavân host.
    So he went back north with a Yavanas
    Force to assist the worn Saka army.
    The nomads waged countless battles against
    One another, far too many to be
    Recorded here, so let it be known for
    All of time that Oxyboakes and
    Zeionises crushed the last Pahlavân
    Host at last many years after the start
    Of the war, uniting the eastern steppes.
    Aryandes, wanting to pacify the
    Conquered tribe, accepted a young noble
    Called Kharapallana as a member
    Of the Saka Rauka court in Khiva.
    Swelled with the pride of victory, they soon
    Turned their eyes to the wealthy kingdom of
    Taksashila, beyond the high mountains.
    Last edited by strelyat; 12-24-2015 at 04:34.
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I went to the danger zone.

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  13. #13
    Horde Chief Member strelyat's Avatar
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    Default Re: EBII AAR: The Secret History of the Saka

    Book X: The Distant Kingdom
    Before marching into the fertile lands
    Of Taksashila, protected by the
    Eastern mountains, Antigenes marched on
    Uparisena, whose people controlled
    The passes that led to Taksashila
    And whose merchants profited greatly from
    Their active trade with the distant kingdom.
    The city’s ruler, Bardân, urged his men
    To sally forth beyond their walls and crush
    The nomadic horde, but it would be his
    Host to taste most bitter defeat; and so
    The mountain passes were open to
    The Saka. Aryandes elected to
    Send his envoy Shafar to the kingdom.
    With words sweetened with honey and money,
    The peasants of Taksashila rose up
    And joined the army of Antigenes
    That would soon set siege to the capital.
    Yet when the Arkah of Hayasdan came
    To learn of this treachery, he sent at
    Once a petition to the Rrudi, for
    Hayasdan and Taksashila were firm
    Allies, bonded by years of fruitful trade.
    In return, Aryandes rejected him.
    Reading the steppe king’s haughty letter, the
    The Arkah exclaimed, “Never have the gods
    Created such a miserable man
    Who would sooner poison friendship in search
    Of even greater riches than to stand
    By an honorable commitment? I
    Predict nothing but ruin to this fool;
    Whether his descendants will be wiser
    I cannot yet tell; but I think the men
    Of his family are similarly
    Aligned in their thought-and if so, I see
    Chaos and rebellion awaiting.”

    As the Arkah mused to himself, the host
    Of Taksashila routed the nomads
    And slaughtered the traitors to their kingdom.
    And yet the rebellion spread even
    More, as discontent peasants formed militias
    Against their cruel and hateful sovereign.
    Unfazed by defeat, Antigenes, with
    The aid of Zeionises, returned to
    The capital and renewed the siege. While
    The Saka fought in these unfriendly lands,
    Their men became familiar with a
    Strange tradition, far removed from the kind
    They had learned as children upon the steppe.
    The natives called this religion Dharma
    And they put great reverence in places
    That they called stupas. The first Saka who
    Adopted this tradition were called traitors in
    The service of the enemy raja,
    Not for any nefarious reason,
    But because they refused to fight under
    The influence of the mysterious
    Dharma; but the many who continued
    To fight while visiting stupas were not
    Persecuted, for they were doing what
    They were asked of by their commanders, and
    They better understood the people than
    Those who stuck to the old ways of the steppe.
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I went to the danger zone.

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