Back to the Horn of Africa!
King Kifle, unlike many of my kings, actually has pretty good stats, so under his rule Semien is quite powerful.
First up is a quick holy war to subdue the Hafazids.
With that done, I'm out of nearby neighbors who aren't part of the Issamid Empire, so expansion becomes a bit tricky. I start putting a lot of money into upgrading my military infrastructure.
My vassals while away the time by fighting one another.
Kifle, tragically, dies fairly young, of natural causes. (At least no doctors were involved.) Long live King Tengene!
An opportunity presents itself when the Issamid Empire is divided by civil war! I have a claim on Akordat, the gray province at the north end of Semien, because it's de jure part of one of my duchies. I can declare war on the temporary revolt state without having to fight the Issamid army proper, which is probably busy anyway. The downside is that if the revolt ends, my war will end inconclusively, but a revolt this big is going to last a while. So away we go!
No sooner have I started the war then I have "malaise". Here we go again.
That ... actually seems reasonable.
That does not.
Fine work Hagos. What's your next treatment?
I should say not.
Actually, this was not because of his proctological expertise, but because a gang of my vassals decided this would be a good time to demand extra powers, including Hagos.
At the same time, another Miaphysite rebellion broke out, so that kept me pretty busy. I quickly hired a mercenary company to put down the rioting Christians, then continue on into Issamid Revolt territory to bring that war to a close. Meanwhile, my primary army heads over to what used to be Hafazid territory to discipline the ungrateful jerks I gave it to.
As I'm fighting three wars, Tengene still is feeling poorly.
Cancer again, eh?
Ah, the old reliable methods.
Well, at least his diagnosis was right.
This unorthodox cancer treatment somehow worked brilliantly, and Tengene's illness went into remission for five years.
Finally. My old hunting companion Ezana gets thrown in prison and has his titles revoked. Serves him right for demanding representation.
Eventually the Issamid Rebels concede as well, and Akordat swears fealty to me. Its rulers are all Muslims, so I can revoke their titles and hand them out to loyal Jews without any of my Jewish vassals (which is all of them) caring.
The Issamid civil war is still ongoing and both sides are weak, plus one of their vassals is having his own civil war. I smell profit, and launch a holy war for Blemmiya, the region immediately north-west of Semien under Issamid control. Sure enough, my armies roll in and capture most of it without any Issamids coming to dispute the matter.
It's tricky, because there's a bunch of rebel factions and they're all mutually hostile and hostile to me. I lose a couple of battles but continue to hold territory. In the meantime, Tengene's cancer returns, and I go back to Rabbi Taye.
A ... apparently it was leg cancer? I hope. But this treatment actually works and King Tengene makes a full recovery!
The war drags on. As long as I control Blemmiya, the contested territory, it swings slowly but surely in my favor.
Irritatingly, a powerful faction wants to change to gavelkind inheritance, where titles are split among the sons. It's led, appropriately enough, by Tengene's only son Eremias. Currently I'm using seniority inheritance, where the oldest member of the dynasty gets everything. This has the disadvantage that you can't groom your successors, but it keeps all the titles together. I'd like to switch to primogeniture but can't manage it quite yet.
Fortunately, Eremias has the impetuosity of youth. He starts a plot to kill Tengene, which I find out about. This means I can try to throw him in prison -- while that fails, and he revolts against me, he does it without any of his faction allies. Leaving Blemmiya alone for a while, I head out to discipline the boy.
Unfortunately, things start to go wrong. First, the Issamid civil war ends, which means that the Issamids regain control of part of Blemmiya that was owned by the rebels and reduce my war progress. Second, someone is still trying to kill me, probably Eremias.
He fails the first time, but succeeds the second. Alas, poor king Tengene.
Come on, Tengene was unfaithful like ... one time! Two or three at most. Anyway, long live King Fethee! "Trusting and complacent", huh?
Complacent he might be, but Fethee gets things done. He gathers the armies and gets the better of the Issamids, finishing the war for Blemmiya.
Staying well clear of yet another giant revolt army heading for the Caliph, Fethee turns the armies around and heads for the rebellious Eremias in Bayda.
Aaaaand then splits the army again to deal with a Sunni revolt. Fortunately by this point the rebels are mostly spent, and it's just a matter of besieging their castles.
Finally Semien is reunited! However, King Fethee kind of sucks, especially at war, and all his vassals hate him. I put further plans against the Issamids on hold to try to pacify my country.
This goes poorly. What do they think this is, a democracy?
However! As I'm crushing this latest rebellion, the event I've been waiting for finally arrives -- the Issamids collapse entirely.
What used to be a unified Arabian Empire is now a mess of tiny states, which should help my expansion prospects considerably.
The Pope decides to take advantage of this new geopolitical climate with a crusade against ... the Slavs?
Another civil war won, another set of vassals in jail. The somewhat-incompetent King Fethee turns his sights northward...
Current Year: 940 AD. Current Status: Avaricious.