Part 7: 960-979, the Unification.
Dongu III may not be the man to lead troops from the front, but he knows how to expand his empire, and now Sanhaja needs splitting in two. All of Sub-Saharan Africa must be part of Ghana!
The Mansa also marries, he takes the gold, as he can just get prestige from winning wars!
The enemy armies are quickly overwhelmed, and the sieges begin. Within a year, the war is over.
Dongu begins construction of a warrior lodge, his idea is to use well trained light infantry armed with poisonous weapons to tip the balance.
He also make sure to dedicate his victory to the serpent.
Knowing that his succession laws would never allow him or his descendants to build large personal armies based off their lands alone, Dongu forms a personal retinue. This is only three men at this time, but they each have orders to hire a good number of troops.
He also makes some moves to try and dispel rumours that he is reluctant to produce and heir.
His brother and heir meanwhile, is cleaning up his own lands and vassals.
With the completion of the Warrior lodge, the Nouakchgott tribe is the next to fall under the gaze of Dongu. They refuse the Mansa's offer of vassalization and will now face his troops.
He marches his troops north. Well, his Brother and two of his cousins march his troops north.
There is also news of another threat from Aoudanghost.
Although this force is not hostile to the Ghanan forces, and just marches around the desert.
In fact, they are at war with the Shanhaja's, and Dongu is able to quickly win his war.
With the war over, his men begin squabbling amongst themselves. Dongu of course allows the duels.
It is time for Jeno to cease to exist, Dongu claims it for his Aunt Youma Hay.
Another minor nobleman decides its time to make his own name.
The war ends, and Ghana looks much better. Only the refusal of High Cheiftess Safataou to die keeps Gao from the realm. (note Fodi's army just wandering around the country.)
Although it is noted that the Mansa is winning all these wars without leaving his castle.
Dongu reacts by inviting everyone over to his place to explain. With food.
Only M'bali refuses to come.
Dongu opens the feast with an announcement that the Kingdom of Jolof is no more. This is known of course, but these official proclamations look good.
The feast was a success, and Dongu's vassals leave happy.
As they leave, he announces the next target. The Idrisid Sultinate lies to the north of Ghana.
There, under a Shiite leader, many Sahaelians are oppressed he tells his men. This must change. This is a war using the claim of the Grand Visier of Aoudanghost, himself a Shiite, but Dongu is sure he can change this once he has the man as a vassal.
The Muslim forces cannot stand against the much stronger Ghanan army.
The war ends, but Sugguat refuses to swear his loyalty to the Mansa. Dongu is not pleased, but at least they have split a threat to the kingdom and won himself more prestige.
Dongu's eyes turn back to Sanhaja, and something clicks. High Chief Sultan? This man is to far into self aggrandisement to be allowed to rule.
Meanwhile another man thinks he can make himself a king.
There is a mistake, and Dongu is checking on his troops when the enemy attack. He tries his best, but the Mansa is run down and killed in battle at the age of only 28.
With no heir, the crown goes to his Brother, Samsou-Beri. He is the first Ogoona to rule not to bear one of the two great family names.
A shy. kind and charitable man, Samsou-Beri is a good soldier and steward, but has no diplomatic skill at all and is know to have an undercurrent of anger to those who oppose him. He also rules five provinces, and has much more money and troops at his disposal than previous Mansas.
Unfortunatly for the nation, he to is at the battle, and it captured by the Sanhajan chief Hiba!
Having been told of his ascension to the throne by his captors, there is little he can do but sign a humiliating peace treaty. This is not a good start to his reign.
At least Fodi is having some success.
Needing to prove himself to his vassals, and Suggut seems like the best target.
The war is quickly won by only the Mansa's troops, and Idjil becomes part of Ghana, Suggut swears his loyalty to the Sultan of Indrisit.
Meanwhile, another Ogoona goes adventuring. It seems that Ghana is so rich a country that minor noblemen can easily recruit large force and go off to conquer new realms.
At least the death of Dongu III sees a return to the good old ways.
The Mansa has a son, and decides to get things back on track with the naming system. The Dongu's and Kabayo's have made this country strong.
This child may be a bastard, but Samsou-Beri is not the kind of man to deny his own flesh and blood.
Cheiftess Safatioui of Gao has died, but Bassi, Samsou-Beri's uncle, refuses to join Ghana. Uncle Harun also has a claim, and the Mansa decides he would make a better ruler.
One short war later, and the stain on the map has been removed.
Peace reigns for a time, and the Mansa spends it and a sizeable sum of money on improving the lot of the peasants around the capital.
Soon after, Samsou-Beri is taken ill, and retires to his bed.
After months of illness, the Mansa succumbs, and dies in his bed.
Four year old Kabayo III is sick when he takes to the throne, but the legitimised bastard soon recovers.
With such a young child to take care of, the first years of the regancy are ones of peace. When Bintou, the Mansa's mother is heard to say she wishes she was married, the now five year old Kabayo remarks Don't worry mummy, I'll find you someone!
He then marries her off to the biggest man he knows, his Marshal. Duru takes the child under his wing, and begins to prepare him for the world.
This seems to all to be a good choice.
Having such a warrior figure in his life affects the young Mansa, and he soon is seen riding around on a wooden horse, waving a stick.
Gao-Saney survives this little accident, but he is wounded and not quick to forget. He heals well though, and soon is back to overseeing the country.
Ghana has grown much in the last twenty years, and when the Sanhaja are finally removed, we shall be left with only the Muslims to worry about.