Part 14: 1100-1119, Slow Gains in the north.
We chase the enemy all the way back to Marrakesh before we can engage them.
We win of course.
It takes some time, but we are able to bring the Umayyads to the point of surrender.
Zakoi uses this victory to push through medium crown authority, something that seems to have lapsed at some point.
People think that Zakoi is moving to quickly, but he disagrees.
The Umayyads become the Asturians. Zakoi begins to build up his funds to go to war. He needs a good emergency mercenary fund.
A civil war soon erupts, and Zakoi makes his move, earlier than he had planned, but it is worth the risk.
It does not pay off, as the Qadirid win the war before Zakoi can.
Finally, someone is caught putting documents under the Mansa's door.
Uncle Igoumou seems to be planning something.
Although Zakoi does not want to do it, the man must die the last uprising of this kind cost thousands of lives.
The Qadrid's and the Jalidid's go to war. This gives Zakoi a chance to hit them once more.
His wisdom is proven when the Qadrid army is attacked by a slightly larger Jalidid one. No matter who wins, the Qadrid army will be weakened past use.
We have to do very little fighting and are soon pillaging away!
Sheikh Mahmud soon surrenders.
Zakoi has over eight hundred gold in his account, having come out of the war much richer than he went in. it is only when Mercenaries are needed that the coffers of Ghana are drained.
To celebrate, he founds a new castle in the capital.
He also removes the Muslim lords in favour of his own family. So many Ogoonu, so few titles.
He also finds himself a hobby.
Abi-Bakr, Zakoi's half brother is planning a rebellion.
Zakoi is an old man now, and does not want to mess around with assassins. He goes for the good old fashioned Throw him in jail he doesn't kill him, that would be going to far.
The Aghlabids are at war, so Zakoi attempts to move closer to the Atlas mountains, the last of the Well Snake's holy provinces. In their prime the Muslims can call on huge numbers of troops, so Zakoi has to wait for these moments.
They turn their army around and the Mansa's heart sinks as he sees the size of it.
The advance army does not escape.
The Ghanan force massed to meet this is the largest seen so far, and a battle of epic proportions occurs in the sands of the Sahara, land where the Gahans have the advantage.
With more men and far superior generals, what other result can there be? Zakoi does not live to see the victory.
In a strange twist of fate, his son, who would have been Mamoudou II dies of an illness hours before his father.
Being the Mansa's only son, the title passes to his eldest Grandson, and fourteen year old Zenku I takes the throne. He is a charitable, gluttonous, proud and envious young man.
It is Zenku who gets the prestigue for the victory at Taghaza, which captures the Aghalbid Sultan and brings the war to an end!
The Sunni lord of Hanyan is stripped of his title.
Zenku comes of age, a skilled tactician.
This is a man ready to lead his country to glory.
This period ends with the news that there has been a successful Crusade for Jerusalem. How long the Christians can hold out is unknown.