Part 2: 870-886, A Dynasty built on Infidelity.
A year passes quietly, before a suspicious accident takes the life of Bankanu the Grand Vizier. It seems even Grand Vizier's have to watch their backs. Especially when they have been sent to fabricate claims on neighbouring territories.
Dongu orders the construction of a Militia training ground, which will increase the number of troops in the capital by a quarter.
He also secures the betrothal of his son to the only child of the chief of Bolgatanga. This is a long term plan, but could bring the province under his control.
Dongu is not only expanding the kingdom through peaceful means, he wants a link to the coast and Ziguincha is the key! War is declared. Dongu decides that he shall only use his own troops in this war, so as not to antagonize his vassals.
The two armies avoid one another, and begin besieging each others lands.
The war continues, and Djenly gives birth the a third child.
A final battle ends the war and gives Dongu a victory.
Dongu then respects his new subjects wishes and makes him marshal he was able to take some of Ghana despite being outnumbered, and skill should be rewarded in Dongu's book.
Dongu is blessed with a second son.
Gao swallows Bolgatanga, and it the only real threat to Ghana in the region.
Meanwhile, Dongu decides he shall educate Kabayo himself.
He is an unruly child, and Dongu's attempts to beat some patiences into him does not work.
The Mansa's eyes were not always in the right place it seems, and there is a well known affair between him and one of his courtiers.
It is said that Djenly was also not as committed to the relationship as she may have been.
The Mansa's bastard child is born.
Dongu was not the kind of man to admit that Aoua was his child, even if it did fulfil a personal ambition of his!
this was also the time that Gao decided that the two large nations needed to sort out who was the greatest Ghana was fast moving to marginalize the central African country, trapping her between deserts with no hope of expansion.
Dongu mobilized all of his forces. 3,200 men to Gao's 2,800.
He also receives news that the Sultana has given birth to a child.
The two forces clash, Gao must have purchased some mercenaries, as they have more troops that the reports said. Overall, it is said that Ghana had the better commanders.
The battle does not go their way however, and Dongu flees the field to his castle! The man seems to have hidden his cowardly side for this long, but during this pivotal battle, he broke down and revealed his craveness.
This of course leads to collapse and retreat for the Ghanan forces.
This act of cowardice has a marked effect on Kabayo.
Meanwhile, on the battlefield, the Gaon forces hunt down Dongu's men, defeating them in battle after battle. With no money for the hiring of mercenaries himself, Dongu can only watch from behind the curtains in his castle.
Trying to shore up the relationship with his vassals, Dongu sends his daughter to be educated by one of his richer lords.
Djenly sees no reason not to cheat on her husband what is he going to do? Confront her about it?
Dongu raises a new force in the capital, but the Gaon's march in and defeat it, killing Marshal Fatta. This does however give Dongu the rights to his late marshal's lands.
This cannot prevent the loss of the battle and the loss of Soumpi though. The first Ghanan-Gaon war is over, and it was not a victory to Ghana.
Nine year old Kabayo was heard to state that he would not make the mistakes of his father, and would retake the lost land as soon as possible.
The second of the suspect children was born soon after.
Dongu's vassals scheme amongst themselves.
Djenly continues to be all but blatant about her affairs.
Dongu reacts as any man would, but going off and conquering some of his neighbours lands. Well, sending some of his men to conquer some of his neighbours lands.
He also decides that he does not love his cheating thrice-bastard bearing wife any more.
He does react badly to others professing their love. Mabali and Youma end up in Dongu's dungeons for eloping.
His troops meanwhile begin their conquests.
Djenly gives birth once more.
Takhye surrenders, but Birama of Takrur has declared that he should be the rightful ruler of Baol.
The first battle in this new war goes against Ghana, and the Takruri's overwhem the Ghanan army.
A new army is raised, but when looking for a new commander, is seems that the third best general in the realm is Dongu! This scares the Mansa, and he immediately spends some money on hiring a new marshal.
Duru Kayes takes command of the left flank of the army, and Dongu returns to his castle.
This appointment turns the war around for the Ghanans
As the men begin to besiege Takruri territory, Djenly pops out another bastard. (four so far for those of you counting)
Although they cannot win the war, Takruri troops can still make it costly. They rip down the castle fortifications with less than a hundred men.
Zakoi may not be his natural son, but as far as the world is concerned he is. This does allow him to be used to improve relations with iterate lords.
Kabyao mean while takes after his father in some ways.
Finally Birama accepts defeat, and Ghana has expanded once more. Dongu uses the funds from the surrender to fund some stables in Doumbi-Saleh
Dejenly also falls pregnant again, Dongu is fairly sure this one is his.
This child, a girl known as Bintou, is born nine months later.
Despite expanding the country to nearly three times its original size, his cowardice and inability to control a most promiscuous wife gains Dongu the epitaph history now remembers him by.
In fact, many say his achievements were more a matter of putting the right man in the right place.
Soon Kabyo comes of age. He is as good at intrigue as his father, but a far better soldier. He is fairly lacking in the diplomatic arts however, being a Wrothful, shy, Cynical, proud and lustful young man.
He will be the future of Mansa of Ghana, for better or for worse. Before I leave you, here is the beginnings of the Ogoona family tree. I have marked in red the suspect children for your entertainment.