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Thread: Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII)

  1. #1

    Default Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    First things first: This AAR is also posted in the dedicated forum for AARs, and I'd suggest checking it out there. (See Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII) ) Firstly, because then I can have any and all comments in one location, rather than scattered across multiple forums. Secondly, once the first chapter is finished I will only post future installments there, leaving this as a sort of extended teaser. And finally, because there are loads of awesome AARs over there worth checking out, and I'd like to get more folks onto those subfora

    Now, on to business!

    -----------------------------------------------

    Hey everyone,

    This is my first AAR (and only my third writing post ever on the TWC) so if you like it please be sure to recommend it further to anyone you know who might be interested. Also, I am always very happy for any feedback, be it small things you notice that should be corrected, larger aspects of plot/character that you think could be done better, or even just a simple "I liked it, especially that one bit where..." Furthermore, don't feel like you need to be careful when critiquing anything; I place a high value on open clear communication, and trying to make a critique "polite" often just makes it hard to follow.

    Alright, with that out of the way, let's start to dig in.

    Motivation and General Info about the AAR

    I am an amateur writer and long-time player of the TW series, especially the mods that really dig into the history, and only just recently realized that using a campaign as a backdrop could be a very nice (not to mention easy [comparatively speaking]) way to write a story; you start with characters who have developed personality traits and familial lines, and you can simply follow them on their grand adventures. In that spirit, this AAR will be written in a novel-like form, only following the exploits of one general and his part in the birth of an empire. The AAR will be broken into separate "chapters" which will generally cover single arcs of the character's story, but which may break off mid-way if I feel like it is too long for one "chapter". In general, think of it as a book, with things having about that pacing and separation. As with any writing which is posted/published as it's being written, any thoughts or suggestions after each post are most welcome and will be incorporated into future installments.

    Also, I think I will try to post a new part at a regular time once weekly, for ease of following the AAR (probably Sunday nights).


    Settings

    • Faction: Malkuta Nabatu (Nabataea)
    • Campaign Difficulty: Hard
    • Battle Difficulty: Medium
    • Manage all Settlements: On
    • Battle time limit: On



    Notes/Questions for the Reader


    • I will be taking screenshots along the way, but as of now do not plan to include any (relying instead on descriptions of what is happening). However, I would be interested to hear whether readers would like the screenshots as well, or if the writing is sufficient.
    • Regarding names (places, groups, people), I will use as many as I can find that are period relevant (Safaitic and Hismaic, both of which according to my research fall under the heading "Old Arabic", seem to be the dominant languages of Arabic Palestine, north Arabia, and the Hejaz regions), but I will supplement these with modern Arabic names. If anyone reading is knowledgeable in Old Arabic or any of the particular languages or regions, and knows a more appropriate name or naming scheme for some particular item, I'd be very happy to hear them. Also, when I use the Old Arabic names for places/people that may be known to readers under other contemporary names, I will put the contemporary counterpart in parentheses for ease of understanding. For example, the first time I refer to the capital of Nabataea it says "... riders out of Rekem (Petra) bearing news...". I would also be interested in hearing readers' thoughts on this approach.
    • For ease of reading I will split the chapters into between two and four parts, so that no single post is too long or burdensome. However, the underlying intent is for a single chapter to be read as a single chapter, so bear that in mind if it seems like a "part" breaks off before it should; if that irritates you just keep reading.
    • I am approaching this with more of an eye to the first-person AAR of one general, with some hints and allusions to the larger picture. Given that, I will try to make the story as realistic as possible, which may involve some minor use of console commands to add in small elements that would be historically accurate and not hugely gameplay altering. For example, when clearing rebel armies from an area of Arabia I will likely add a single unit to my army that makes that clearing operation, to represent how the protection of a tribe could often result in being gifted with some warriors from that tribe.



    One final note: At some point in time I think I may like to try to get this story published, so any thoughts on that (probably at a much later date) would also be welcome. Now, without further ado, let us have a look into the desert.
    Last edited by Kilo11; June 06, 2018 at 09:43 AM.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Chapter 1
    Out of Edum


    --------------------------------------------------
    (Part I)


    An hour after the rising of the sun a great cloud of dust was seen climbing in the depths of Wadi Musa, the sand and earth flashing gold and orange where it caught the young light. As the fiery column neared dark shapes at its base resolved themselves into six figures, riders atop richly saddled camels, messengers out of Rekem (Petra) no doubt bearing words from the Malek (king), Malka Qnu. In preparation for their arrival Mun'at Ha'Qadri ordered his men to prepare bread and meat, and tea as well, and bring the feast to his tent. The riders were near already, but the final descent into Wadi Araba was choked with broad fields of shattered flint and basalt, sharp going over ground already too warm for a camel's soft feet. The party would have to pick their way through carefully, following the dry rivulets of last winter's rain where the cooler ground below had been exposed, giving Mun'at ample time to prepare for their arrival.

    He turned his back on the dusty column and began threading his way to the center of the camp where his tent lay. Here in the shelter of the valley walls and the protection of friendly territory he could have indulged himself and set his lodgings apart from the men, but such luxuries would too surely bring future risks. Out in the desert wastes a man could not afford privacy and the thickness of canvas provided the only solitude to be had. Mun'at Ha'Qadri knew that a commander who set himself apart would earn only distrust and baser suspicions besides, all dangerous sentiments to foster in fighting men at world's end, and so he placed his abode at the center of their small camp and left the outer flap always open.

    As he stepped inside he inspected the space where he would receive the king's messengers. Unadorned yet princely rugs lay artfully scattered in a circle, the center of which had been swept smooth, a bed of sand which soon would be covered in broad copper plates and woven baskets holding the prepared feast. Before long his captains and faithful companions had joined him, all placing themselves on the rugs in their rough circle, no man higher than the next, no head nor foot to their earthen table. The riders were still out among the flints and stones of the valley, and Mun'at bade the older men tell stories while they waited. Rana'in, the eldest, spoke first, relating the tale of his first hunt, when he alone had chased an oryx to exhaustion, following her for two days through the hills of Hijaz until she simply lay down and died, unable to flee any longer. Then Khalil, a herdsman turned raider, told of his journey north to the salt sea of 'Isra'l, mixing in as many crude jokes as he could and turning the youngest men among them crimson. After Khalil one-eyed Haza'el began to speak, but was instantly cut off when the tent's inner flap was thrown open, letting in a cloud of dust and six men.

    Mun'at Ha'Qadri rose and embraced the foremost among them. "May Shay' al-Qaum bless this company." the newcomer said by way of greeting, to which Mun'at responded "Dushara's protections over this land." With the formalities of salutation dispensed with the riders then sat, taking places amongst Mun'at's men on the carpeted ground, and Mun'at motioned to signal the commencement of the feast. In proper Bedouin fashion the plates were first offered to the guests, the most revered of their number taking his rightful portion and handing the dish to his next companion. When they had finished with the platters of meat and baskets of bread they would then reach across the open space and extend the meal to Mun'at who would follow suit, taking his allotted amount and handing the feast on down the line until it finally reached the lowest man there seated. And after all had had their fill, eating in silence, the remains were taken away to be divided between the men and women outside, and fresh strong tea was brought in that the distinguished party might casually discuss the import of the riders' message.

    The man who had greeted Mun'at was the first to speak once the tea had been served. "We thank you for your hospitality, and commend the excellent feast you have provided us." he said with raised cup, to which each man answered with a nod and cup equally raised. With the toast behind them he then continued. "However, we are expected back in Rekem this night and so must not tarry or waste words. Four days after the last new moon a Lihyanite force was seen departing Dedan, heading west toward Hijaz, and as they crossed the lands between their profane city and the barrier hills they, by power of gold and threats, impressed many of the intervening tribes to join their number. They have raided the oases of the southern tribes and even now are poised near Tabuk, prepared to strike our allies of the Hisma."

    Mun'at gently raised a hand to stop the man. It was not his words that gave him pause, but rather the way he said them, the faint note of panic on the edge of hearing and the desperate glint in the man's eye. "What is it to us if they raid Tabuk?" he asked calmly, his voice even. "The Lihyanites will carry out their raids, as they always do, and before the next moon is full the Hisma and Hijaz tribes will have raided the Lihyanites in their turn. When they have each had their play at brigandry we too will ride out and take our tolls from them all; that is the way of the desert. Why should we concern ourselves with one petty band of plunderers?"

    The man took a breath before answering and almost imperceptibly shook his head. "Mun'at Ha'Qadri," he began gravely, "you are a wiser man that that. It is now sixty turnings of the year since the pale men out of the sunset lands, those arrogant Greeks with their illusions of empire, came to our shores, and they show no desire to leave. With the death of their great king Iskandar (Alexander) we were given respite, the greed in their hearts driving them to bleed their brothers and break all bonds of friendship, and this alone has allowed our continued survival. Malka Qnu, our most wise king, fears that should the fragmentary and quarrelsome Diadochoi set aside their long feud then they will turn their ever-hungry eyes eastward to our lands. That is why we must unite the tribes of the desert, all of them, that together we may stand against the rich Ptolemies and over-reaching Seleukids."

    "But such fear is surely senseless, unnecessary," Mun'at replied, "for are we not friends to the Greeks of Phoinike (Phoenicia) and en-Nil (the Nile), those Ptolemies who hold secure our western borders? And are not the Seleukids indifferent to us and moreover held at bay by the powers of Bostra and Tadmur? What have we to fear from their likes?"

    "Your boldness and strength of conviction does you credit Mun'at Ha'Qadri, but you know it is unfounded. Tadmur and Bostra stand free and independent by chance alone. The Seleukids and Ptolemies worry one another on every field of the Levant, and this preoccupation leaves neither one the time or resources to adventure far from their usual haunts. Should they make peace, the cities of the north will fall. As for the Ptolemies to our west, those you call 'friend', they care nothing for family or tribe or nation. They are individuals to a man, without concern for any but themselves, and they are not to be trusted."

    The messenger paused briefly then, and when he spoke again his voice was low and yet more powerful, as though volume had been casually traded for weight and force. "Think on their history Mun'at." he said. "Without their mighty king, who they venerated and feared as a god, how long did they stand by one another? How long did they lock shields in phalanx unconquerable? Before Iskandar's body had even been laid to rest Ptolemy, father of a line of traitors, seized it that he might by the bones of a hero legitimize his claim. As for the rest of them, within two years the Greeks had forgotten all bonds of kinship and common loyalty, tearing at the scraps of an empire as dogs over a carcass. They are not to be trusted."

    With flushed cheeks the man finished and Mun'at, head bowed in contemplation, slowly responded. "Yes..." he said with downcast eyes, "you are right..." His voice trailed off and in the close silence of the tent the men sitting began anxiously to trade glances between Mun'at, the messenger, and one another. As the interlude stretched the anxiety of the captains and companions grew, and just as they began to stir on their mats Mun'at raised his head and fixed the messenger with flashing eyes. He spoke calmly and evenly, but with barely contained ferocity. "What would our king have of me?"
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  3. #3
    QuintusSertorius's Avatar EBII Hod Carrier
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    Default Re: Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    I'll make a point of looking out for your AAR, but I'm really not interested in other mods.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Glad to hear you'll have a look! Any thoughts or comments are always welcome, and since you're one of the people with more historical background, if you notice anything off, do let me know!
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Chapter 1
    Out of Edum


    --------------------------------------------------
    (Part II)


    The messenger smiled thinly, a narrow scar along his left cheekbone giving the expression an almost roguish air. "Ravv'l Bikrum, the king's firstborn, has been sent east with a small but noisome detachment. They will travel down Wadi Sirhan to the great sand wastes of Nefud and under its cover move deep into the lands of the Lihyanites. When they are seen they will be taken for a raiding party, nothing more, but Ravv'l will by force change their measure of him. He is to take Tayma, raid its outlying oases, and loudly proclaim himself Sharif of the Thamud and Hisma. His reputation will lend credence to the apparent 'facts', and such boldness so close to Dedan will draw their attention."

    "As for you Mun'at Ha'Qadri, you and your men are to travel south to the port of Elath (Aqaba) and there join the company of Shullai Ha'Malek. The boy is still green, headstrong, and your counsel and guidance will do him well. You must ensure that he trusts you, for the road you will travel together is long and not to be tested by a party divided."

    "Once arrived in Elath you are to wait as long as necessary for the mustering of the forces. Out of Rekem will come bows and lesser tribesmen, light soldiers to a man, but dependable and moreover capable of foraging in the wilds if need be. You will not be bound to the shelter of fertile lands, but will move freely, unexpectedly, the better to confound our foes. From Ravv'l will come much the same manner of reinforcements, but horses as well, small hardy beasts accustomed to the sands and heat who no doubt will serve you well."

    "The soldiers from Rekem should arrive only days after you, those from the east weeks later." The messenger stopped then, his hands slowly twisting the hem of his robe this way and that, and he proceeded again only reluctantly. "Mun'at, this is your expedition to lead and I would not tell you your own affairs, but I would advise that during your delay in Elath you set the men out of Rekem to some sort of exercise. They are dependable and capable, as I said, but too many of them have been at garrison for too long. Patrolling city streets is no task for a true soldier, and I see how they have forgotten their former selves. They have forgotten what it is to fight with a man at your side, the sands beneath your feet. They have forgotten the thrill of a raid and the calm afterward. Help them to remember before you face the Lihyanites."

    "When all have arrived and the preparations for your journey are made complete, the king wishes that you first march east to The Valley of the Moon (Wadi Rum) and there lay in ambush. The spires of red stone will hide and protect you, even as the burning crimson sands seek to scorch your soles, but the men out of Dedan will not know of your presence in that region. The king believes that if they sack Tabuk they may then turn their eyes to Elath, and in their haste to plunder its riches step freely into your trap. Give them the opportunity, but if they do not come to you then seek them out and destroy them all."

    "With their advance forces decimated and the garrison at Dedan distracted by Ravv'l's little play at being warlord the city will be incapable of resisting you. Take Dedan and then move south into the lands of Saba (Sheba) and her pathetic federation, and then, when all the tribes of the desert follow our banner, then we will be in a position of strength. Perhaps then we may challenge the Diadochoi themselves."

    ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

    Again standing at the edge of his camp, Mun'at watched the eastern hills where six riders were slowly sinking into the haze and imprecise light of evening, the cloud of dust behind them no longer gold or even a sultry desert orange, but instead a deep and arterial red. He stood motionless, his gaze fixed on the shrinking image until it was lost altogether in the flickering shadows of day's last light, and when finally he turned away he was greeted with the sight of a hundred men on horses, prepared to depart at his sign. The tents had been packed away, the carefully laid cisterns cleverly concealed, and the only remains to mark their long residence in the valley were the scattered and smoldering fragments of horse manure from which they had made their fires.

    Mun'at mounted in silence, gratefully receiving the reigns from Rana'in, his constant companion. The old warrior nodded and they set out south down the valley, the rest of their party falling in quietly behind.

    The base of Wadi Arabah, which runs south to the sea, comprised a broad bed of gently blown fine sands, alternating in hue between desolate washed-out gold, purest white, and lustful vermilion. On their right rose the lazy regular slopes of the valley walls, painfully mundane aspects of a land so often wild. However, as if in answer to that tedious sight, on their left towered the broken outriders of Jabal al-Madhbah, where it was said the deliverer of 'Isra'l once spoke to their god. The valley floor lay in shadow, but those vaunted spires of stone still shone brightly, their glow illuminating the landscape with borrowed light. Then, all too quickly, the sun sank away completely, its rich radiance traded for the pale rays of the moon. The rocks and hills surrounding them, whose edges had before seemed so smooth and forgiving, transformed into a maze of sharp lines without field or depth, and the gently undulating ground took on the mantle of a sea under storm.

    They would ride through this deceitful image of black and white for half the night, resting shortly after Wadi Gharandel, and finish their push to Elath the following afternoon. In deference to the men's mood Mun'at remained silent, attempting to busy himself with the study of the land, yet his mind would invariably return to a single phrase of the messenger's words: "Perhaps then we may challenge the Didochoi themselves."

    For his part he was to unite the peoples of Arabia under the banner of the Nabatu, but beyond that lay no designs, no grand adventures planned. Mun'at Ha'Qadri was born of the desert, a child of raiders and traders, nomadic folk ill at ease in the confines of city walls, and in such an environment he had thrived, becoming foremost captain of Edum. There were cities in his land, minor centers of power and wealth, yet he chose a wanderer's life, the sun and moon his faithful guides. But behind his restlessness, his need for motion and changing scenery, lay a longing for some thing unknown. Not the close hot streets of Rekem nor the salt splashed shores of Elath. Mun'at longed for a true metropolis, to ride down wide avenues fronting on temples and squares too large for the mind to hold. He had heard tell of Thebes Hekatompylos, of Gaza, of majestic Alexandreia with her tower of light, and he wished to see such marvels, to call them his own.

    Mun'at Ha'Qadri, faithful to tribe and king, would carry out his task and take Dedan, the lands of Saba, and the Hadramawt, but when he had finished he would follow his own course. He would take his men across the narrow sea to the lands of the Aithiopians, men whose skin was dark as desert flint, and he would ride against the cities of en-Nil, claiming their glories for himself. One by one he would conquer the thrones of Kush and ports of Ptolemaic Aigyptos, and when he had tired of their sights move on down the great river, leaving tributaries to his king in his wake. And so Mun'at would bring truth to the messenger's words, daring to challenge the mighty Diadochoi on their own lands, and by his hand win glory for his people and freedom for all tribes of the deserts.

    With such grand designs playing through his imagination Mun'at rode tall in his saddle, distractedly calling the day's halt shortly after they passed Wadi Gharandel. The men set a close and spare camp, providing only the necessities for the planned few hours rest, and then all retired to their tents or sleeping mats laid bare beneath the open sky. Mun'at was the last to lay himself down, having made a brief round of the men's positions, but once inside his canvas home he fell asleep quickly, dreaming of high white walls scratching at the heavens and a tower of light surrounded by breaking waves.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Chapter 1
    Out of Edum


    --------------------------------------------------
    (Part III)


    Mun'at rose from his tent as the eastern horizon was beginning to blush, glad to see many of his men already roused and preparing to depart. Before the first glint of the sun had touched the earth the rest of their company had woken, made their brief excursions to just outside the camp for their morning necessaries, and hastily returned to gather up their effects. Soon enough they were again in saddle riding south towards the ever-nearer sea.

    At first they traveled in shadow, the radiance of the sun hidden behind the eastern mountains which burned from behind. The peaks presented a terrifying aspect so early in the day, for the outcroppings revealed no trace their true shape, rising from the ground like pillars of night, yet they were edged in fire and running blood where the concealed light dared to venture forward. Then, in reverse parody off the evening's events, the sun suddenly and all too harshly burst forth, flooding the valley in heat and a blinding brilliance.

    The men continued forward without break or word of complaint, but their brows dripped heavily and each began to pitifully pant in his own private world of fire. Ahead of them the horizon, which before had placidly traced the lines of heaven and earth, began to flow and shimmer, mercurial beads of blue, white, red, and leaden gray mixing randomly until one's vision reeled. Into such unknowable vistas Mun'at rode purposefully, his eyes downcast yet still streaming from the intensity of the reflected sun.

    Increasingly exhausted the party pressed on, and already they had traveled far, covering nearly half the remaining distance to Elath. Then, in answer to the countless unspoken prayers for respite, Mun'at called a halt. They had reached a narrowing of the valley where some small shade could still be found among the precipitous and rocky eastern walls, and the ground had given up its reds and whites, deepening to the hues of old rust and dusty streets, colors too dark to reflect light but neither capable of properly holding heat. Truth be told, the difference was slight at most, but to hear the men's sighs of relief it could have been paradise itself. Then, as if to add to this estimation, a small group of tribesmen approached from the gently rising western slopes, bearing between them a dozen sacks filled with melons and dates. The men received the bounty with all good will, paying the tribesmen what was surely twice the goods' worth besides, and for an hour they rested there, eating and making small conversation until the sun had reached its zenith, banishing the last obstinate shadows and any chance for further comfort before they set eyes on the sea.

    Refreshed and in good spirits the party remounted, periodically allowing themselves to break into martial song as they marched south over the sands. The way became smoother, more predictable, and before long a gentle but insistent wind could be felt against their faces, traces of salt in its wake and the ghost of seabirds' cries beneath its wings. They continued eagerly, desperate to cast themselves into the cool embrace of breaking waves, and to their satisfaction the haze of sky blue and amber ahead of them began to separate, admitting a widening band of sapphire between. With each step the shapes resolved further, the mirage of midday giving way to the clarity of evening, until the houses and markets of the port town lay open ahead, the ships' tall masts visible just beyond.

    Mun'at gathered his companions together, a double-column marching in near unison, and with Rana'in at his side he led the procession to the whitewashed low governor's house where he was sure to find Shullai Ha'Malek, the king's youngest son. The building lay amidts a broad garden of palm and date trees midway between Elath's central square and the ever-busy port, and once arrived Mun'at entered alone, sending his men on to set camp along the shore just south of Elath. There they would have room enough to muster the forces and see to their provisioning and training, and in the interim his men might take pleasure in a moment's well-earned rest.

    --------------------------------------------------

    It was late in the evening when Mun'at finally approached the camp set by his men. The day's final meal had long before been distributed and the soldiers sat merrily around their fires, enjoying the easy breath of the sea which washed over their new temporary home. As he so often did, Mun'at casually wandered from fire to fire, tent to tent, speaking to the men plainly and without pretension, a comrade in arms and no noble to be blindly obeyed. He walked with his head held high and back straight, but the older warriors, men who had long served as his companions, noticed a certain subtle stoop in his shoulders and weariness in his gait, the marks of a care unspoken. Some portion of the meeting with Shullai had surely done him ill.

    Mun'at made no mention of his worries but he retired to his dwelling earlier than was customary, asking a runner to call on his closest captains for a brief assembly. The encampment was still an intimate affair, for as yet no reinforcements had arrived, and all the requested men were seated in his tent long before the strong had been served.

    Mun'at sat in silence, his gaze moving from one man to the next, testing their wills. Finally he spoke, his voice low and crisp. "I have asked you each here, you few in particular, that I might speak freely of our campaign and of our noble ward who is to join us, and I would have that these words remain here in this company." he said, after which he paused briefly. "The desert is an ill place to hold secrets or closed councils, we all know, and so I will not ask any among you to hear against your wills words spoken in confidence." He paused again, allowing any unwilling souls to depart, but, as he knew they would, the men all remained still, their eyes intent and assured of their purpose. "Very well." Mun'at continued, and with visible relief he began speaking with more force and honesty and decidedly less politic tact.

    "As you all know I spoke with Shullai Ha'Malek earlier this day, and it pains me to say aloud, but the boy is no true son to our illustrious king Malka Qnu. He holds himself in highest esteem, vaunting the pettiest of victories against local banditry as though he alone had bested mighty Iskandar in single combat. In his short life he has said little and done less, but the arrogant fool thinks himself wise as the philosophers and mightier than gods." Mun'at's voice trailed off then, a deep wave of weariness washing over him. He began again slowly, uncertainly, as though he distrusted the words coming from his lips. "Truth to tell, I would leave the noble brat behind were it not for the king's charge."

    The men sitting beside him remained silent, but their exchanged glances and unspoken words echoed across the open space at a deafening volume. Each of them had had similar feelings toward Shullai, some having had the displeasure of serving under him before and seeing firsthand the boy's recklessness and greed, but to hear their commander speak such words, a man so loyal to country and king, shook them in a way they had never expected. More than this, Mun'at appeared genuinely troubled, an aspect not at home in his countenance.

    With furrowed brow, Mun'at audibly sighed and began again, choosing his word somewhat more cautiously. "For good or ill the boy is with us," he said, "and the best we can but do is to teach him well and hold his ambitions at bay until he has some understanding of what it is to lead and to fight, not just against men armed but against the almighty desert who cares nothing for us. As we move forward on our long quest I would ask that each of you do your part to educate Shullai, but take care that he remains of the opinion that the lessons learned are discoveries of his own, for I fear his headstrong arrogance will prevent him from ever hearing wisdom from any but himself. He will obey me, I have made certain of that, but his blood runs too noble for his own good, and too much for him to take notice of a 'common soldier's' wisdom or thoughts."

    Again Mun'at grew quiet. He had provided no proper conclusion to his speech nor their meeting, but he had no more words to say. After the space of a few minutes he thanked the men for having come to him and he adjourned their council, assuring them all that they would speak again soon and, gods willing, under more hopeful circumstances.
    Last edited by Kilo11; June 18, 2018 at 02:18 AM.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Chapter 1
    Out of Edum


    --------------------------------------------------
    (Part IV)


    Over the next days and weeks their seaside encampment slowly grew, but aside from this there was passed little of note worth relating. As promised, the soldiers from Rekem arrived in good order two days after Mun'at's company, marching down the northern arm of Wadi Ithm with the rising sun on their backs. Mun'at was glad to see them and their sturdy bearing, but he also noticed the subtle marks that easy city living had left on them; the casual way they carried their spears or the almost blithe manner in which they spoke of the campaign to come, as though it might be no more than a playful excursion into the desert. The words of the king's messenger echoing in his ears, he set them immediately to training, dividing the new units amongst his trusted commanders that they might turn the softened guardsmen back into the warriors they once were.

    Sixteen days later the force sent from Ravv'l Bikrum joined their number, a mighty army filling the valley from horizon to horizon. Within the space of a few hours the barren plain had sprouted a forest of stout trees tipped in merciless iron, its depths providing cover enough for the countless bowmen and slingers who there kept watch. These men were little like the guards and petty tribesmen Mun'at had so recently been training, for the western Harra was still a dangerous place and Ravv'l's bold forces had been the only safeguard against the tyranny of foreign raiders.

    As the new units filed down the dry wadi and began arranging the regular lines of their tents Mun'at's gaze was caught by the individual soldiers walking alongside each division. Some were young, perhaps only a handful of summers wiser than Shullai Ha'Malek, but the majority were aged men with flecks of quartz running through their ebony beards. These were veteran warriors with little need for guidance or training from the likes of either Mun'at or his captains. Another commander might have shuddered at the sight of so many potential rivals, so many equals demanding respect and a fair apportioning of the spoils of war, but Mun'at openly smiled. Ravv'l, knowing that the campaign's outcome depended on victory for the army gathering in Elath, had sent away his very best, placing his own small band of raiders at greater risk for the sake of capturing Dedan. Mun'at would repay him well for the consideration, and moreover see to it that Ravv'l's captains received their just rewards and retained control of their fighting men.

    Night fell over the valley, the sudden darkness rapidly dispelled by a thousand fires lit throughout the camp, and Mun'at held a special counsel with the new captains who had so recently arrived. In deference to their long journey he remained brief, quickly relating the king's plan and their part in it. He then assured them all that they would hold final command of their men, both for the sake of morale and in honor of their faithful service to Ravv'l Bikrum and Malka Qnu. Finally, Mun'at explained the potentially dire situation for the people of Tabuk and the need for haste, concluding that in two days time the army would march for Wadi Rum, leaving a small force exposed on the road behind them to entice the overbold Lihyanite raiders into their trap. If Dushara's grace was with them the bait would suffice and the devils from Dedan would be broken against the sacred stones of the Valley of the Moon.



    Mun'at was wakened early by the braying of high horns ringing in the dawn, their shrill voices splintering along stone and crying death through the valleys. Too well did he know their sound and the doom it called forth, but hoping against reason he burst forth from his tent. Already the smoke was rising just beyond the low ridge to the east, drawing him out. In one step he had crossed half the plain and with the second he was standing along the ridgeline. A third step and he was beside her, Adwata, his wife. He curled her close, his tears casting up narrow columns of dust where they struck the ground below, and he watched the distant riders sinking into the sunrise. Soon they were lost entirely in the haze of morning. He turned his gaze back to the woman in his arms, but no longer could he see her face clearly or remember the true feel of her skin. As he looked upon her her features began to slide and flow, turning to sand, and in an instant what was once his wife slipped between his fingers, returning to the desert from which she came.

    Mun'at opened his eyes slowly, the sound of horns still ringing in his ears. However, the piercing notes of the Rabi'ah murderers had been replaced by deep and sonorous calls, the voices of antelope- and ox-horns booming across the valley. Their two days were up, the forces finally mustered, and it was time that they laid their trap amongst the crimson walks of Wadi Rum.

    Their army covered the entirety of the southern approach to Elath, a broad plain between the inland hills and the sea. Mun'at knew Wadi Arabah to the north was likewise filled to its brim, the provisions and baggage train having been assembled there, not to mention the wives and families of the fighting men. The campaign ahead would span years and more, and so they rode out in Bedouin fashion, with all that they held dear close behind.

    The divisions and companies began slowly to march as the sun rose in the east, their formations close and inspiring. Rana'in, fearing that the Rekem guards might forget their short period of training, had cleverly suggested that they be evenly spread between the new arrivals from Ravv'l, and Mun'at was pleased to see the results before him. Each unit moved as one, the less experienced following their betters' example, and sooner than he would ever have guessed the entire force was on the move. Mun'at looked to Rana'in and nodded in approval, for his plan had set them more speedily on their way, and though Wadi Rum could be reached in a day's march it would be a long day indeed. The time won now would aid them well before the sun had set.

    The army began its journey with the sun on its face, the men moving due east along the broad bed of Wadi Ithm, a deep watershed connecting Wadi Rum to the sea by a series of channels and open valleys cut through the coastal hills. The terrain was easy, smooth semi-hardened sands underfoot and a gentle rise that would slowly bring them into the higher country inland, to the northern outriders of the Hijaz ridges. They moved quickly and with confidence, and before the sun had reached its zenith the last few straggling units had crossed into the desert territories and lost sight of the sea behind.

    At first they marched hard, the size of their force making any delay in the narrow coastal ravines too dangerous a risk. In such tight spaces they could not make advantage of their numbers and the long column lay doubly vulnerable to raiders and swift sorties from the surrounding peaks. Seeing this, Mun'at with cruel kindness bade them to press forward with all haste, finally allowing a stop only when the last of their divisions had safely exited the wadi's shadows into the broad plain beyond. They could already see the dark bands on the horizon that marked out the Valley of the Moon, immense peaks standing lonely watch over a lifeless river of blood-red sands. The younger men who had not yet seen that place squinted and shaded their eyes, hoping to catch an early glimpse of the sacred valley, but the older warriors ignored them for the time being. Wadi Rum was a place of beauty, wonder, and awe, and would impress itself on any so fortunate as to gaze into its depths, but there was no reason to miss an opportunity for rest by staring at a smear on the horizon. Soon enough they would tread its walks.

    After a mere hour's rest the riders remounted, the infantry shouldered their spears, and the captains sounded the call to resume their march, the orders being relayed by horn and trumpet to the more distant units. Now that they had reached the open plain the column began to flatten and fan out, the men behind moving to the now open flanks until they nearly spread across that vast space. And so it was that when finally they reached the first precipices and clefts of Wadi Rum nearly every man there saw them at the same time.

    12,000 men and 4,000 horses, all loaded with packs and jangling harnesses, can make an unimaginable sound, a din to wake the gods. Even without singing or speaking, the mere splash of their footfalls will mix together, one step amplifying the next, until one hears roaring ocean waves booming over the seas of sand. But as they stepped between the first peaks marking the southwestern border of the Valley of the Moon their breath was halted and each found himself unconsciously treading carefully so as not to make a noise. With no more than a whisper on the wind to mark the sound of their passing the army crossed into the holy valleys and grottoes of Wadi Rum.



    Author's Note

    In looking for a good photo of Wadi Rum I was overwhelmed with how amazingly beautiful that landscape is, and I would strongly recommend that all readers do a quick search in GooglePictures for "Wadi Rum"! There are hundreds of astounding images of that place, and though the one I've included gives a taste, there is much more worth looking at!
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Chapter 1
    Out of Edum


    --------------------------------------------------
    (Part V)


    As the army moved north into the cover of the deeper valleys, it split into a dozen divisions, each setting its camp apart from the others. Wadi Rum, despite its scenic nature, was a particularly parched and unforgiving place, and the distribution of the hidden rain-catches and cisterns demanded that the men accept a certain degree of isolation from their comrades. The arrangement however was not without advantage, for their separation ensured that if one party were sighted by the enemy it would be taken for a small band of raiders, the rest of their number remaining unknown and free to encircle the Lihyanites at ease.

    Mun'at also ordered that the baggage and families be moved to their respective partners, and left only a small train of wagons and livestock behind with Shullai's companion cavalry. From the heights of Wadi Ithm or the broad plain to its east they would present an easy and moreover enticing target. With hope the Lihyanites would rise to such bait.

    In order to further draw them into his trap Mun'at sent a half-company of mounted bowmen southeast toward Tabuk. Their task would be threefold: first, the riders were to keep watch over the Lihyanite force and moreover determine the immediacy of Tabuk's need for assistance. In addition, they might use their presence to some advantage and carry out small sorties against their foe, the better to thin their ranks and weaken their resolve to remain within the environs of Edum. But most importantly, Mun'at hoped that the antagonism of his cavalry might be used to induce the enemy to give chase, whereby they could be led as lambs to the slaughter back to Wadi Rum.

    Khalil, the crude raider, would lead the advance cavalry, for though he could at times act rashly he was without doubt the most likely of Mun'at's captains to be capable of angering an enemy into false moves. As the thin column of lightly armed horsemen began to ride out Mun'at called after Khalil.

    "Ten days, old friend." he said. "We will wait ten days only, and then we follow in your wake. Do not forget."

    Khalil, ever the rogue, made no reply other than a half-nod and wink, and with that he turned away and began riding over the sands for Tabuk.

    ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

    Six days later a pair of scouts came riding hard into Mun'at's camp. Before they had even spoken Mun'at had sent his captains to the more remote units to bring them in for the battle that was sure to come. He then spoke to the two men, but was confounded by their news. They told him they had seen riders approaching from the east, heading directly towards Wadi Rum, but when questioned on the strength of their force the two men confessed to have only seen perhaps a dozen soldiers, but all clearly mighty warriors from their dress and bearing. With little idea of what to make of such news Mun'at had walked to the edge of his camp to see these riders for himself, bringing along twenty strong bowmen for good measure.

    After the space of perhaps half an hour the unknown intruders were sighted coming across the open plain, riding with all possible haste and no apparent measure of forethought to the dangers that lay in wait for them. Sensing some oddity but detecting no danger, Mun'at stood down his archers and was glad of the decision when shortly after the riders approached, showing themselves to be members of Khalil's raiders.

    Upon seeing Mun'at the foremost among them leapt from his saddle, nearly toppling to the ground from exhaustion when he landed, and the commander, normally a calm and politic man, snapped at the weary soldier. "What brings you back so soon?" he asked. "And where is Khalil?" he added as an afterthought.

    Still gasping for breath, the interrogated did not respond immediately, and when finally he spoke the words cam in fits and starts, each phrase punctuated by a loud intake of air. "Commander... no time to delay... the Lihyanites... they are devastating Tabuk."

    "What?" Mun'at replied, unwilling to believe that Tabuk had fallen. "Is the city lost then?"

    "No, sir," the man answered, "but the eastern raiders have laid siege and even now are plundering every settlement and oasis." After another gulp of air he gestured to the darkening eastern sky and continued. "Khalil remained behind with the advance forces to harry them sir, but alone he cannot liberate Tabuk. We must come to their aid or the Hisma will be lost to us, its tribes broken."

    Without further word Mun'at turned to the captains and runners standing behind him. "Prepare the men. We move out in four hours."
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Chapter 1
    Out of Edum


    --------------------------------------------------
    (Part VI)


    From the low earthen wall the innumerable horsemen to the northwest could just be made out in their camp set amongst the ruins of what were once rich farms. Broken orchards and smoking shells of buildings marked out the borders of the fields and residences, but there remained little other trace of the greenery and life that so recently had filled the surrounding space. The garrison commander of Tabuk, an aging man, looked mournfully across the plain with little trace of hope on his features, and at the sound of footsteps behind him he lightly tilted his head. The uneven tread marked the arrival of his adjutant, a faithful if somewhat jumpy fellow who had been bringing him bad and worse news daily since the arrival of the eastern raiders.

    "What further evils have you to report Jaqlu?" he asked over his shoulder. "Do we now have the plague within our walls as well, or can we escape at least some of the perils of this life?"

    Jaqlu, his tone grave, did not rise to the jest. "Commander Tarsu," he said, "the plague would be a mercy at this point. I have been speaking with the council and... they have informed me that..."

    "What is it Jaqlu?" Tarsu prompted.

    "With the refugees and the garrison there are twice as many within our walls, and the wells within the city are running dry, commander." he said flatly. "Without access to the oases or outlying settlements the people will run out of water in three days."

    Tarsu was silent, his gaze fixed on the distant enemy, and after a short time Jaqlu spoke again. "Commander, did you hear me?"

    Tarsu turned on his heel to show a face clouded in worry and uncertainty. He took a deep breath, delaying the words he longed not to speak, and was presented with a gift he had days before despaired of ever receiving. Carried on the wind he heard deep horns ringing in the west.

    "What fresh doom is this?" Jaqlu frantically asked.

    "Deliverance." Tarsu answered, a broad smile on his lips. "The Nabati have come to our aid!" All trace of fear had left his features, and with a certainty and fury terrible to behold he continued. "Jaqlu, gather the archers of the garrison and any men you find who might be pressed into carrying a spear. We will be moving out at once."

    "What?! You cannot think that we will go out to fight these eastern dogs!" he responded, terror curling the edge of his voice into a pitiful wail. "Even with some force from Rekem the Lihyanites are too great in number. We will be killed."

    "Jaqlu, have you no pride or self-respect?" Tarsu asked bitterly. "Gather the men at once! I will not have it said that when our allies came to our aid they found us cowering behind our low walls or unable to meet the enemy with heads held high. The Nabati will draw the Lihyanites away to the west and when our brethren have fully engaged the devils from Dedan then we will hurl our bolts into their backs." Tarsu's jaw was set, brooking no argument or objection. "Gather the men." he finished in tones of cold iron.

    --------------------------------------------------

    For the past hours Mun'at Ha'Qadri had received constant updates from a veritable army of scouts riding back and forth between the general and the edges of the Lihyanite encampment, and the most recent news was heartening. Upon seeing the full extent of the Nabati force the enemy had begun to hastily lift their siege of Tabuk, the various units fleeing south as soon as they had broken their camps, and already there lay a long train of men and horses stretching into the desert. Seeing their exposed flanks Mun'at had ordered Shullai to take the mounted bowmen and skirmishers and join Khalil's industrious raiders, and their antagonism appeared to be bearing results of some worth. However, the horsemen of Dedan were still too quick, and would surely escape before the army from Elath could bring its full might to bear against them.

    "Haza'el!" Mun'at cried over his shoulder, summoning the one-eyed captain. "Gather the banner-carriers, trumpets, and any cavalry we have left and ride hard south. Get behind these eastern demons and turn them about! We have come too far to let them slip away without a fight." With a curt nod Haza'el turned and left, shouting orders to men left and right.

    The preliminaries of battle dispensed with, Mun'at then allowed his gaze to drift toward the low stripe of white on the horizon that marked the buildings of Tabuk. Between the smoldering farmsteads and ravaged fields he could only just catch glimpses of the distant city, but he noticed a thin band of darker shapes moving over the sands. Mun'at shaded his eyes and saw dancing in the heat-haze a small force of bows and spears marching under banners of the Nabati. It seemed the garrison of Tabuk would not be content to be rescued without joining in the fight. Again, and not for the last time that day, Mun'at smiled.

    With no more clever stratagems at his disposal or maneuvers to be made Mun'at ordered the army to slowly press forward, holding their lines secure should the Lihyanites turn to fight. They would push straight toward the Tabuk garrison, and once their number was joined to the main force they could then engage the enemy with confidence.

    Tabuk (pre-battle)


    After the space of a Greek hour* they met the local guardsmen, commander Tarsu striding confidently at their head. Mun'at embraced him quickly and relayed the intentions for the ensuing battle. Tarsu's men would fold into the main line, slightly off the central axis should they prove liable to break under pressure. Then, if Khalil's and Haza'el's sorties proved successful in turning the Lihyanites, the entire force would march southeast and engage the enemy on the broad sand-swept plain. With Tabuk at their backs the local men might also be induced to fight more freely, secure in the knowledge that their homes and families lay in the shadow of defense cast by Nabati spears.

    Tarsu's men took their position among Mun'at's and the wide line of wood and iron wheeled about to skirt Tabuk's outer farmsteads. The sun high in the sky they began heading south and again Mun'at smiled. Ahead of him he spied the scattered units of fleeing Lihyanites begin to coalesce and reform, turning their faces back toward Tabuk. They seemed to have had their fill of flight and would indulge his men's desire for blood. They would fight.




    *Author's Note to "Greek hour"

    Slightly longer than an hour. The ancient Greeks and Romans divided the daylight hours into twelve equal segments, meaning that the actual length of an hour would vary depending on the season and location. In Arabia in summer the Greek/Roman hour would be only a few minutes longer than the current standard of 60 minutes.
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  10. #10
    alex33's Avatar Ordinarius
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    Default Re: Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Very enjoyable read! Keep it up! Go Nabataeans



  11. #11

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Hey alex33, glad you are enjoying it. I will be continually posting updates, usually on Sundays (unless something comes up). However, the next post is the final one for Chapter 1, after which I will only be posting to the page which is located in the dedicated AAR section of the TWCenter. Given that, be sure to subscribe over there to see the newest updates as they come out. After all, the adventure is only beginning, and it is still a long way to Alexandria!
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Chapter 1
    Out of Edum


    --------------------------------------------------
    (Part VII)


    With the Lihyanites committed to combat Khalil and Haza'el returned to the main line to cover the exposed flanks and give their mounts a moment's rest before the battle commenced in earnest. Their mobility would be crucial in the fight to come, for the entirety of the enemy force consisted of cavalry and could easily split apart and isolate the Nabati infantry and bowmen unless properly checked.

    With his riders returned, Mun'at ordered the bulk of his men to occupy a low hill to their east. Its vantage would not provide much in the way of protection or strength, but the shifting slope would slow any charge committed by the lancers of Dedan, giving his spears a moment more in which to prepare themselves. To the east of the hill Mun'at sent Shullai Ha'Maleki, granting him command of the mounted bowmen and Khalil's raiders. Whether the boy could be trusted to fight well, much less lead, was still unclear, but he would have to wet his blade at some point, and should he prove unable Mun'at trusted Khalil to wrest control from him without complaint or compromise. For his own part, Mun'at would remain with the main forces, keeping his companion cavalry, the camel raiders, and Haza'el's hastily gathered men as a reserve should the infantry become over-pressed. With the Nabati battle lines arrayed he then did as any experienced commander would and he waited, patiently watching the stripes of black on the horizon as they wheeled about, marking their strengths and their narrow gaps with a calculating eye.

    The Lihyanites shifted back and forth across the finely blown valley, sliding this way and that as mercury on a heated sheet of iron. At first they seemed unsure of themselves and their choice to do combat, but soon enough their lines hardened and fanned out, matching the Nabati formations. As Mun'at watched, squinting against the brightness of the afternoon sun on the sands, the eastern-most Lihyanite horsemen began to break away from the rest of their number, pounding north toward Shullai's companions and Khalil's avid raiders. From such distance Mun'at could not be sure of the enemy's disposition or martial raiment, but their speed and positioning marked them as skirmishers and lancers rather than bowmen. Then Mun'at noticed something more; a standard-bearer following a single horsemen in shining attire. Shullai must have seen the enemy commander as well and thought to capitalize on his isolation, for the eastern cavalry under his command began to rapidly descend the hill in the direction of the enemy, horns ringing to sound the charge.

    As Shullai closed with the forces of Dedan his companions began to unleash a constant supply of arrows and stout throwing spears, thinning the ranks before the inevitable clash. To this deadly rain was quickly added the vengeful barbs of Khalil's men, further weakening the enemy, and when Nabati lances met Lihyanite shields the battle for the eastern flank was already won. From his position among the main lines Mun'at could not hear the distant din of mortal combat, but he knew its sounds well enough. The scream of dying men and rough tearing whinny of broken mounts would shatter the heart of the enemy commander until he routed in panic. In a desperate attempt to free himself from an early final judgment he would break and flee, the last sound in his ears the rasping of his own breath as he struggled to draw air into lungs punctured by enemy bolts.

    Mun'at watched intently, but after the space of only a few minutes he turned away, his head softly shaking from side to side. Victory is a sweet thing indeed, but it is an ill soul who gladly watches his enemies die cowards' deaths with arrows in their backs. He would not gaze needlessly on such a spectacle.

    However, despite his wish to unsee the carnage unfolding on the plain below Mun'at was forced to turn his view back to the enemy, for shouts running down his lines announced some new maneuver or ploy of the Lihyanites. Far off to the southeast the broken Dedani horsemen fled over the sands, Shullai and Khalil at their heels, but the remaining enemy soldiers had begun to ride hard for the Nabati infantry, surely hoping that a single unforgiving charge might rout the levies and garrison troops, leaving only a small force of veterans to contend with. The thunder of their hooves and boom of their war drums nearly brought the Nabati to their knees, but as the fiends neared Mun'at saw clearly that they were all of them bowmen, dangerous at a distance but no match for spears and axes, however poorly wielded. He rode quickly up and down his lines, rallying the men and assuring them of their inevitable victory, and when he returned to his cavalry he sent them with Haza'el with orders to swing wide and strike the Lihyanite flank once they had engaged his spearmen.

    As the last of his companions rode away to the west Mun'at dismounted, giving his reigns to a spearmen of some note. He would remain with the footmen holding the centerline, secure in the knowledge that his captains would make the most advantage of their men.

    Tabuk (battle)



    He then stepped forward from his line, striding a quarter-bowshot ahead, and he turned about. The sun at his back, Mun'at's features were cast in shadow, a dark god of violence and death in human form. But he was their god. Mun'at raised his spear high and shouted. "Warriors of Edum! This day we come not as petty tribesmen or raiders. This day we come as soldiers of Malkuta Ha'Nabati*. This day we come as liberators." He paused then, glancing over his shoulder at the fast approaching enemy. "But tomorrow," he began even more loudly, "tomorrow we will be conquerors, and the rising red sun will bear witness to our strength. Let us make these eastern devils bear witness as well!"

    With a roar fit to shatter the heavens and hills his men raised their weapons in answer, the swelling sound running east and west down the length of them. However, their moment of untested confidence flared only briefly, for no sooner had Mun'at regained the lines when enemy arrows began to rain down from a cloudless sky. The mounted Dedani archers were continuing their hard ride toward the Nabati, firing wildly and to little effect. Scattered screams marked the passing of men from this world to the next, souls lucky enough to be spared the coming bloodshed, but too few spears fell for the Lihyanites to long hold hope of victory.

    As the enemy soldiers finally crested the hill, a wide column of dust and fear trailing them, they ceased firing and traded bows for swords or short spears, weapons of intimacy and cunning. However, the foremost among them were never permitted to use these, for Mun'at's archers and slingers, so long silent, entered the chorus of death with confidence and precision. A deafening whistle lanced across the hilltop, piercing iron, bronze, leather, and flesh. As the first line of horses fell those behind tripped or were stalled long enough to receive the second volley, and by the time the soldiers behind these had picked their way through the bloody maze of their fallen comrades the Lihyanite charge had been reduced to gentle push.

    The spearwall held, and along the exposed flanks of the Lihyanite line Ravv'l's Harra tribesmen rushed in with axes held high. For the span of a few minutes the mele raged in earnest, the enemy rallying despite their losses, until above the ring of spear on shield horns were heard. From the southwest Haza'el broke against the Dedani with a red wrath terrible to behold. Wavering, the enemy fought on, their mounts tiring beneath them, until again horns were heard blaring over the sands. Unasked for and unexpected Shullai had forsaken the rout, and with Khalil in tow had returned to the battle. His lancers, flushed with victory both recent and to come, shattered their long spears by the force of their charge and without mercy continued the slaughter with ax and sword.

    The remaining Lihyanites, to a man, broke. The imprudent reserves at their rear thought to run, dying shameful deaths with arrows in their backs for such cowardly behavior. Those at the heart of the mele could never hope to escape so quickly and largely surrendered, while here and there some bold soul fought on until exhaustion and despair finally defeated him. All told, the fighting had not lasted more than an hour at most, but by the end three quarters of the enemy had been slain, the rest captured or dispersed into the desert, with little loss on the Nabati side. Again, and not for the last time that day, Mun'at smiled.

    --------------------------------------------------

    Three days after the battle for Tabuk, after the bodies had been laid to rest and the goods of the fallen fairly distributed amongst the victorious, the army of the Nabati left the lands of Edum and crossed into Lihyan. There was no thunderous cheer or fanfare of horns to mark their passing. No stone cried forth their trespass or spoke of their arrogant daring. The sands simply continued in their soft sighing melody, the sun rising on their left, the mountains of Hijaz on their right. But Mun'at knew they had left behind the lands they called their own. He knew that in that moment they ceased to be allies and liberators, trading the mantle of friendship for that of aggression and greed. So be it. He would wear it gladly, and though he was a stranger in a strange land he would hold his head high and bow to no man.

    *Glossary

    *Malkuta Ha'Nabati: The Kingdom of Nabataea
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Narrative Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    To all readers:

    In order to simplify the posting process I will no longer be posting updates here, instead posting all future installments of this AAR under the dedicated forum for AARs here. Please be sure to subscribe to the other thread to receive updates and continue exploring Arabia with Mun'at and his companions. Looking forward to seeing you all there!
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