Chapter 48: Hakim's peace
15 September 1260
Sultan Hakim is smarter than I had thought. Of course I knew that he was maneuvering between the giants, usurping what he could without drawing too much attention towards his actions, but he has now shown his true intentions: peace in Calradia, dictated by him. The endless wars have all taken their toll the past hundreds of years, tearing the land apart and leaving the once great kingdom into shatters. Unlike king Ragnar, who was blind for my weakened state, Hakim saw that the war between me and the Nords was drawing all our resources, and that the fragile truce between us could break any moment. And the final winner wouldn't be quiet for long: whoever would win, would turn his eyes one day towards the Sarranids.
Hakim had seen that, even when I was just busy retreating with the few men left in my army after those bloody victories three months ago. He acted accordingly. I now realise that the countless Sarranid people that swarmed the lands the past months weren't just merchants or loose soldiers: they were all spies, gathering information for their sultan. He used that to shift everyone's political agenda towards his favour. What started with offerings of truces towards both Ragnar and I, ended up in the strong peace that is now in place. But for how long will it last?There's peace in Calradia, thanks to Hakim's meddling in the international politics.
Looking back, I can only wonder how he managed to pull it off. How was Hakim able to position himself in such a way that no-one wanted to attack him, and no-one dared to attack each other for the Sarranids might aid the enemy? I think his main advantage was the remote location of his sultanate, and the fact that his wars with the Rhodoks never drew the attention of the other factions. He was in the perfect position to just observe the change I brought to Calradia. Three years ago he fought his petty wars, just like the rest of the lords. But then I entered Harlaus' service, and everything changed. Swadia managed to conquer quite a large portion of Calradia, and even though an alliance of others brought the Swadian might as fast down as it had crawled up, it left one very important wildcard: me.
From my first arrival in this strange land till even today, the Sarranids had been friendly towards me. Many of their fierce Mamluke warriors even joined me in my cause. But while Hakim fought countless wars against the Rhodoks in the south, I established a new kingdom in the north. I personally brought down three factions in the process, something that all the others have seen. Each king reacted in a different way. King Graveth hid in his shrunken lands, hoping that no-one attacks him anymore. King Ragnar tried to equal me by conquering his own portion of Calradia, but I corrected his ignorance quickly three months ago. And sultan Hakim... He watched the others all the time and acted immediately at my invasion of the Nords. He has used the past three months more wisely than I have. I haven't said this very often in these lands, but I really admire him.
It took me a while to see what Hakim had done. After my army had been weakened, I needed to rebuild it. Many recruits from all corners of Calradia were lured to Khudan, where I took them on training missions across the country. Two months ago I first started to trade to build up additional funds: the training of so many new soldiers is an expensive business. And even though my income from the many fiefs and businesses is pretty high, the salaries of those hundreds of soldiers are increasing daily, decreasing my profit. By the end of July I first started to notice the oddities in the politics. Still I continue to travel along the countryside and trade and train, but now I gathered info myself too. The past month I thus learned a lot about Hakim and his scheme.I rode from city to city, trading and training, and eventually also gathering information about Hakim's scheme.
Everything went according to his plan. Right after my short conquest, he offered both Ragnar and me a truce. Of course we both accepted his generous offer: in our weakened states, we didn't want to have to fight another war against the Sarranids. A month passed, and in that time Hakim strengthened his relations. Since I was away many weeks, he spend a lot of time talking to Ragnar. I was thus shocked to hear that both the Sarranids and Nords had formed an alliance. An attack on one of them would mean I'd have to fight both nations. This turned me into the isolated one.
But this wasn't everything. Ragnar wasn't ready for war yet, and I was raising an army pretty fast. I might be able to fence off an attack from both nations. And when that happened, my relation with the Sarranids would be ruined: revenge would be in place. Hakim saw that too, so he also sought negotiations with me. What started with a truce, quickly turned into a nonaggression pact. We both officially decreed that there would be no hostilities between our nations. That also meant that Ragnar couldn't easily use his alliance with the Sarranids in an offence matter. Hakim has positioned both Ragnar and me, Floris, in a position where we rely on him.Sultan Hakim offered me a nonaggression pact, something I just couldn't refuse.
With these good relations in place, I tried several times to convince Hakim to finally recognise me as a sovereign ruler in Calradia. No-one has officially done yet, although they must deal with my might. Six hundred soldiers in different stages of their training are marching in Khudan, not something you ignore that easily. But even here Hakim schemed: he doesn't recognise me, even though he knows I want it badly. That way he still has leverage over me. The past months have been Hakim's prime. He has brought peace. But can it last? I'm preparing my armies, and Ragnar is doing the same.It's an arms race that can only end badly. And then everything Hakim has worked for, might be in vain. Within a week our pact expires. What will happen? Will Ragnar finally convince Hakim to enter the offensive against me, something he has tried for the past two months? Or will Hakim succeed once more and bring more peace to these lands?
It's been quite a while since I posted my previous chapter. But while the adventure was at a pause, TaleWorlds wasn't. I thus upgraded my game to version 1.131. A full list of changes:1. Mount & Blade: Warband v1.131 (was 1.127)
I made a clean install with the latest version of the game.2. Warband Battle Size Changer v1.5 (stayed the same)
To raise the battles to 1000 men.4. Floris Expanded Mod Pack v1.0 Finally released!
There are some small changes tough: More Horses
is now v4.0 (was 2.5) and More Warhorses
is now v2.0 (was 1.5). I've also added Diplomacy v3.1.1
, More Metal Sound Mod V2.2
, OSP Item Variants v1.6
, Eastern Armor OSP 1.0
, HalfCataphract v1.5
and Floris King logo's v1.0 to the pack. From now on I'll only use the Floris Expanded Mod Pack
in the following chapters. Any change in my use of mods will result in a new version of that pack.
Here's a picture of Floris' stats:
Since the map hasn't changed much, I'll show you some pretty pictures. They haven't been edited, so you can see how the game looks like with my mod pack.