Foundation: 1739-1745 (T205-T208)
Religion: Coptic Christian
By Rob Pierce, updated by Martin Helsdon
The Maasai in turn threatened them with extermination unless they would agree to evacuate to somewhere else. The Axum looked to Madagascar for sanctuary. The Maasai agreed provided that the Republic of South Africa would also agree, given that the great island was claimed and controlled in part by the Republic. The Axum reported to the Maasai that RSA had "no objections" and with said approval in hand, the sealift went forward (1741, T206).
When word of the sea lift (and the subsequent slaughter that followed the Axum landfall) reached the RSA mainland there were howls of anger from politicians and prelates alike .
(1) Perplexed Maasai diplomats, called on the carpet for having provided the ships for the Axum, repeatedly asserted that Axum officials had gotten prior approval, er, well, "no objections" from RSA officials. Further investigation revealed that the secretary for an Assistant Deputy Branch Chief for the Department of Foreign Affairs (now retired) had indeed received a missive from Axum dignitaries, but that said missive had slipped behind a desk, was forgotten, and had thus never been replied to. Clearly the Axum, having been given "no answer", conveyed "no objection" to the unwitting Maasai.
Still to be written.
Axum: Though crippled by drought and poverty, the Axumites were not yet dead men - the Negusa Negast had posted a wary patrol on the border with Ethiopia and they hurried back to Addis-Adaba with news of invasion. They found the city in mourning - black-masked men had set upon Ousanas as he returned from the bathing house one morning and stabbed the great leader to death. His guardsmen had rushed to his aid, but by the time they had driven off the Ethiops (for the assassins proudly bore the tattoos and signs of the Sharp Hand, a fraternal order of Ethiopian warriors) Ousanas' life had gushed out on the ground.
His younger brother Eon took command, and soon learned an army three times the size of the warriors he commanded was sweeping across the plains of Sennar. Further, he learned from panicked merchants the Regent Fredik had decided to punish the cities who had made an accommodation with the Axumites - Fashoda was already in flames, every last ducat, bolt of cloth and item of furniture looted away by the Ethiopians.
"We will go then," the young Negusa proclaimed. "So we came, on horse and camel and donkey, so we will go." His people rushed to gather themselves, to fill their panniers, pack up their tents, abandon the rich villas and houses they had tenanted for only six years. Eon himself led his army into the mountains athwart the path the Ethiopians must take and lay in wait, intending to buy time for the escape of his people.
Fredik, however, was well informed by his spies and rushed his men forward, hoping to catch the fleeing Axumites on the march. Eon (who was a man wise in the ways of battle) divined his intent and rode swiftly away to the south. The Ethiops entered the high valleys of Shoa unopposed, and fell upon Addis-Adaba with terrible ferocity. As Fashoda had suffered, so too did the ancient capital, and there Fredik found great treasure in the houses of the merchants, the churches and even the dwellings of the poor.
These baubles purchased escape for Eon and his people, who found their way down onto the coastal plain and into the lands of the Masai kings. Fredik was pleased to see them go, and took a certain satisfaction in seeing them plague the southerners.
Maasai: The last thing anyone expected, as a result, was an invasion of the northern provinces by a huge horde of Axumite refugees and a whole pile of angry-looking religious zealots. But, prince Eon needed to go somewhere and the provinces of Danakil, Djibuti and Zeila where just sitting there. The Axumites swept in, slapped aside a paltry resistance mounted by the city police and local magistrates, and everyone got new homes! By the seaside! With a view!
King Kaii was very, very displeased.
Axum: Faced with the fresh prospect of annhilation at the hands of the angry Masai, Eon knuckled under and accepted a moderately humiliating compromise. As a result, he and his people packed up their bags once more (though they were getting heartily tired of constant movement) and boarded a vast Masai fleet.
They were sailed south, and then south some more, until at last they came to the jungled, unspoilt coastline of the "Stony Island" of Madagascar. There the Masai dumped them on the coast of Betisimarsaka to fend for themselves, then sailed away.
Over the next year, Eon's soldiers slaughtered an inordinate number of local tribesmen (wretched creatures, worshipping some Fish God) and conquered (and settled) the provinces of Betisimarsaka, Ikopa, Ihozi and Merintha.
Maasai: By threatening the Axumite invaders with an enormous stick and a grisly, lingering death, Tudar managed to get them off his front porch, onto boats and down to Madagascar - where he hoped they would stay for quite a while. General Hopok restored order in the far north and chased off the last of the Axumite stragglers who had failed to board the ships.
RSA: Extensive missionary activities took place along the fringes of the Republic, though the arrival of the Axumites in Madagascar destroyed decades of work by slaughtering the Catholics there. The King of Vaal (negotiating with the aborigines of Merintha) was hunted down and slain by the Axumites.
Motaa Ojekh: Trapped on an isolated, wilderness island – without so much as a town to call their own – the Axumites cursed man and god alike – with special emphasis on the Maasai dogs who stranded them in this hellish jungle. Their scouts, however, returned from the west to report an actual town on the Sakalavan coast. A town inhabited by Malays, Javans and other known reprobates.
Eon, therefore, decided to march his army over the mountains into Mahabo and conquer that land, then attack Port Kolos and take the trade station for himself! In Mahabo a Afriqan garrison was slapped around, then chased into the jungles. Eon swept into Sakalava with high hopes of taking the city with minimal resistance.
Unfortunately, not only did Port Kolos have an actual wall and a city militia, but two frigates owned by the Pacific Mercenary & Trust company, commanded by Captain Shimura, arrived in harbor just in time to join the Javan defenders in their battle against the Axumites. Eon dispersed his men and ordered an attack on the walls. The first attack was beaten back, with heavily loses among the Axumites.
While Eon was rallying his men, the mayor’s son (who had taken command of the Kolos squadron while they were operating in Indonesian waters) also sailed into port a week with twenty-four battlecruisers of the Squadron at his hand. Now Eon’s positions in the hills around the town were subjected to shelling from the big, three-hulled battlecruisers. In poor ground and facing a well-prepared position, Eon abandoned the campaign and marched off south, cursing his enemies.
His battles, however, were not yet over…
RSA: A great clamor rose in the Senate, for the honorable representatives from the province of Merintha requested – nay, demanded! – the expulsion of the Axumite bandits from their homeland. “Madagascar is ours,” they proclaimed to anyone who would listen. For his part, the Protector was also rather put off by the ham-handedness of the Maasai, and ordered out generals G’mar and Huwele with a dozen regiments of Vaalese riflemen and artillerists to deal with the invasion.
Relations with Maasai chilled noticeably.
Missionary work continued apace in Mahabo, Comoros, Mauritus and Hova Merina – despite the depredations of the Axumites. In any case, while the Maata were rampaging around the north, trying to capture Port Kolos, the Afriqan navy began landing a polyglot army of Vaalese and Republican guards in Mahabo. There they met scattered survivors from the destroyed garrison.
King Ikombe of Vaal was the first ashore, near the end of ’43, with four thousand of his soldiers – all armed to the teeth! Unfortunately, in the spring of the next year, king Eon and his Axumites came riding south to attack the Afriqan encampments (and the RSA navy had not yet returned with the second wave of troops.) Ikombe found himself engaged in pitched battles with the fanatical Axumites. He lost – even his expert riflemen being unable to turn aside the relentless attacks of the Axumites. Without artillery to even the odds, the Vaalese regiments went down in defeat.
1744 proceeded in a fashion displeasing to both the subsequent Afriqan expeditions under G’mar and Huwele, who found the southern shores of Madagascar swarming with angry Axumites, and for Eon, who watched helplessly as the Afriqans landed at Port Kolos under the sheltering guns of the Javan and PM&T ships. Soon they would march out, and then – the Axumite leader though, in a truly dark humor – this fragment of history would end…
Motaa Ojekh: Eon wept bitterly to see the disaster which had overcome his people. Lost in the jungles of Madagascar, unable to feed themselves, the Motaa disintegrated into squabbling clans, then family groups. Their beloved horses perished of disease and malnutrition and still the Javans and Afriqans in Port Kolos taunted them. In time, the city-dwellers took to hunting the Motaa as dangerous vermin… by the end of ’46, the Guardians of the Flame were no more.
- Eon 1739-1745
- Ousanas 1739-1739
- T205-T208 (1739-1746) Eric Miller
Last updated: 20 March 2005
© 2002 Robert Pierce