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Only to wake back up as a twelve-year-old! With time rewound and a second chance at life dropped into her lap, she sets out to right the countless wrongs that plague the ailing Empire. Corrupt governance? Check. Border troubles? Check. Natural calamities and economic strife? Check.

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The Wolof (aka Jolof or Djolof) Empire was a state on the coast of West Africa, located between the Senegal and Gambia rivers, which thrived from the mid-14th to mid-16th century CE. The empire prospered on trade thanks to the two rivers providing access to the resources of the African interior and coastal traffic, commerce which included gold, hides, ivory, and slaves, and which was often carried out with European merchants, notably the Portuguese and then the French. Following the break-up of the Wolof Empire in the 16th century CE, a smaller state persisted, the Wolof Kingdom, into the 19th century CE. The Wolof language is still widely spoken today in Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania.

The Wolof eventually became the most powerful tribe south of the Senegal River. This territory had once been under the nominal control of the Mali Empire (1240-1465 CE) after a successful campaign of expansion by Tiramaghan, a general of Sundiata Keita (r. 1230-1255 CE), the Mali king. The relationship between the two states is unclear, but the Wolof seem to have at least acknowledged the Mali kings as the main West African power. Wolof's independence can be seen in the succession of their first king or burba, the semi-legendary Ndiadiane N'diaye, traditionally placed in the 13th century CE but more likely to have been in the second half of the 14th century CE. In any case, civil wars, attacks from tribes such as the Mossi people and the shift of lucrative trade routes, meant that the Mali kings slowly lost their grip on the outer regions of their empire. Around 1468 CE, King Sunni Ali (r. 1464-1492 CE) of the Songhai Empire (c. 1460 - c. 1591 CE) then conquered the rump of the ailing Mali Empire.

The Songhai were only present south of the Gambia River, and this permitted the Wolof in the north to exploit one of the few vacant areas the Songhai Empire did not control in West Africa (either through direct occupation or the enforcement of tribute). By the end of the 15th century CE, the Wolof Empire consisted of the three Wolof-speaking kingdoms of Cayor (Kajoor), Walo (Waalo) and Baol (Bawol), and states populated by speakers of Serer such as Sine and Salum. Eventually, the Wolof kings expanded into the Malinke territory north of the Gambia River which included the states of Nyumi, Badibu, Nyani, and Wuli. Consequently, the Wolof kings came to rule the whole of Senegambia, although this state may better be described as a confederacy of tribute-paying kingdoms rather than an empire proper (as it is often called).

The Wolof people were still actively involved in the coastal trading in the mid-18th century CE but the region became increasingly dominated by the French from the early 19th century CE as they and other European powers now took direct control through military conquest of the parts of Africa that interested them. The Wolof language, however, far outlasted the empire or kingdom and is today the official language in Senegal (along with French) and is widely spoken in several other West African states.

A few months later, he was unceremoniously evicted from the Kremlin, an emperor without an empire. The state founded by Lenin, which reached its peak under Stalin with the defeat of Nazism in 1945, ended quietly under Gorbachev, a man who sought peaceful change but lacked the means to preserve the Soviet state. We should acknowledge his role in the end of the Cold War and respect his efforts to change the rigid system he inherited. His task was probably impossible.

She became monarch at a time when Britain retained much of its empire. It was emerging from the ravages of World War Two, with food rationing still in force and class and privilege still dominant in society.

“Salih Harun” or “Saleh Haron”, then Anglicised as Silas Aaron Hardoon, was born to a poor Jewish family in the city of Baghdad in 1851. Five years later the Hardoons left the ailing Ottoman empire and, like other Jews of the Baghdad area, searched for fortune in Bombay. Once they arrived in the city they found protection under the wing of the local “Baghdadian Jewish trading community” that was headed by David Sassoon, a merchant-prince, renowned philanthropist and the scion of Baghdad’s most eminent Jewish family. Hardoon attended a charitable school funded by Sassoon and, as an adolescent, he joined the firm D. Sassoon & Co., which supervised a large commercial empire. In 1868, after his employers had noticed his remarkable business acumen, he was sent to Hong Kong to gain experience of the Chinese market. However, six years later he was, for some unknown reason, suddenly dismissed. Penniless, he took a third-class deck passage to Shanghai where the tiny local community of Baghdadi Jews helped him to secure a badly paid job as rent collector and godown watchman at the local branch of David Sassoon, Sons & Co.

Most importantly, Baghdadi Jewish communities of Shanghai and Hong Kong represented individual “nodes” of the trade diaspora of Baghdadi Jews which extended from London to Shanghai and operated under the aegis of the British Empire. As a result of their ancillary position to the British, Baghdadi Jews who lived outside the Ottoman empire underwent a notable process of Anglicisation after the middle of the nineteenth century. They discarded their traditional dress, adopted English tastes and manners and lived a culturally hybrid lifestyle in westernised domestic spaces. Hardoon himself wore Western dress, spoke English, though with a thick Arabic accent, drank whiskey and took on the British passion for gardening.

This formal recognition signed at the Congress of Paris came after Russia accepted a humiliating defeat against the alliance of Britain, France, the Ottoman Empire and Sardinia. The treaty itself would address Russian expansionism, quashing dreams of a Russian empire equal to none, whilst at the same time confirming the importance of the Ottoman Empire in maintaining a very tentative balance of power in Europe.

Upon the death of Nicholas I, Alexander II became Tsar, who by comparison was liberal in his views and approach. A wave of reforms followed with the momentous decision to abolish serfdom and address issues such as its failing economy. It was at this moment that Russia would embark into a new age where educated elites would pause in a moment of retrospection, unleashing as they did so an era of creativity characterised by the great figures of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Russia took its defeat as an opportunity to resolve internal problems.

Under the leadership of Bismarck, who took advantage of fraught relations, new strategy for survival emerged. Austria would end up uniting with Hungary in a monarchical empire. Meanwhile, Sardinia, a participant in the alliance at Crimea would intervene in Italian affairs, ensuring that a united nation of Italy would emerge out of the territorial chasms of Europe.

Traditional empires were now under threat, with Britain and France sensing the urgency and need to maintain a grip on affairs. The Crimean War highlighted how difficult it was to keep a balance of power in Europe. The end of the war resulted in a new era of relations, a new way of doing things; the old traditional empires stretched over continents gave way in Europe to the nation-state. Change was coming.

Many of the empires you previously controlled have rebelled - fleeing to the outskirts of their homelands. Their numbers have swelled, and under the leadership of the Magikill the rebels have become a dangerous threat to your Order Empire!


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