Sultan of the Seas (An HPM Sulu AAR): Part 1: From Humble Beginnings

Author: taxintoxin
Published: 2017-06-17, edited: 2017-06-18

Part of the campaign:

Sultan of the Seas (An HPM Sulu AAR)

Welcome to the glorious nation of Sulu. We are not that glorious yet, but we will be, damn it. Our Sultan, Jamalul-Kiram, agrees. Coincidentally, I was not able to find any images of him after like five seconds of searching, and so Jamalul-Kiram will remain absent from any photos.
We are a small nation, but certain we have great potential. Probably. Much of our economy currently relies upon farming and/or slaves.
In Jolo, our capital, we have 1000 soldier POPs exactly, and they make up 6% of the city's population. This is bad. This means that they will stop being soldiers no matter what and that our only army will pretty much instantly be crippled.
Our other state in Sabah, more populous than Jolo, has precisely 250 soldier POPs spread across 4 groups. This is, notably, almost exactly the opposite of what we need to even be able to raise a regiment.

Notice how much of our population supports jingoism. The populace agrees with Jamalul-Kiram's statements that all that matters must be Sulu; it's just that they really don't want to be the ones responsible.
Our parties are absolutely original and not at all ripped from anyone else. Certainly not generic European templates, considering that we didn't even bother taking any of their considerations about "reform" and whatnot.
What we did take from the Europeans was a bit of a hint. Sulu has been (in)famous in the region for some time due to the Moro pirates, known for their raids upon the islands to the northeast. Although the government itself is not (usually) responsible for any of this, the Spanish have chosen to keep close tabs on us, probably sick of said raids.

Please do note that the one province I've selected has a population nearly double that of the entirety of Sulu.
Coincidentally, the Spanish have Traditional Academia. This is the worst possible thing for us, or, rather, the least good: Uncivs get a discount on reform cost depending upon their sphere master's administration. Traditional Academia does nothing, while every other administration gives at least a -5% discount to both economic and political reforms.
Our capital, Jolo, is on an island. Our entire army is in Jolo. Our entire army is stuck in Jolo unless we build a navy, which serves to kill our economy.
An overview of our surroundings. Jamalul-Kiram assures us that most of the lands pictured rightfully belong to the Sulu, no matter what anybody else says.
WE WILL LIBERATE YOU one day
We begin our rise to glory by immediately conquering the Sultanate of Brunei. They occupied our lands previously; it's only fair.
The Bone Sultanate of Makassar offers us an alliance. We have no beef with them. Yet. So we accept.
Someone leaks our plans to reconquer Brunei despite never having owned any of it. Rulers around the world condemn us for this.

Coffin clutterers, the lot of them.
Uh, well, we sort of already have a European power interfering with our government and economy every single day, so... sure?
The invasion of Brunei is launched in early June. Let the world complain. They're all next, anyway.
The initial battle is an overwhelming success for Sulu. Jamalul-Kiram decides that this is going to be the only battle because he's already kind of running low on his troop count, and destroying Brunei's isn't so wise in his eyes because their army will soon be his army.
He does, however, choose to humiliate Brunei for losing a war to the lands they once occupied. Who would EVER lose a war to someone they once beat?
Our allies in Sulawesi are called in, and they agree to get over here. And by "get over here", I mean they agree to get over on their island and stay the hell away from these affairs.

They will regret this.
During our invasion of Brunei, world leaders accuse us of plotting an invasion of Kalimintan, in southern Borneo. These claims are, of course, false, but if the world accuses you of doing something, you might as well as do it.
The general we've managed to dig out from somewhere or other isn't too bad, actually. Al-Mukammal Riayat Shah has gained popularity for being a surprisingly effective leader.
Not only do they reject our call to arms, they choose to ally our enemy.
Our terror of a navy is dispatched to the Sea of Makassar as an ominous threat against the Bone Sultanate.
The Spanish see our military is absolute garbage and offer us the chance to make it not garbage, or at least as not-garbage as you can get with the Spanish military.
The Bone Sultanate has also allied Kalimintan. Well, since they're basically threatening us with war by allying with Brunei...
YOU CAN'T POSSIBLY GO TO WAR WITH US IF YOU'RE ALREADY AT WAR WITH US.

Jamalul-Kiram gives great honour to the general who came up with this masterful tactic.
Pictured: Sulu, at war with far more people than anyone figured it could be, and doing far better than it should be.
Kota Waringin here has nearly as many people as our entire country. Taking it would be a much-needed boost to our strength.
Over three years after it began, our subjugation of Brunei is complete.

GLORY TO SULU
The Sultan's Elite have mostly died, however. It is clear that we will need to temporarily move to encourage more people to join to prevent them all from dying.
Jamalul-Kiram decides that if Sulu is going to overpower all of the Europeans encroaching on its rightful lands, it needs to learn the ways of the Europeans. He requests of the Spanish that they send someone educated to teach the royal family what it means to be "Western."

His mistake was thinking there was anyone educated in Spain. They respond by sending over a young woman who claims she is German, and from a town called "Bielefeld." Most of the court agrees that this sounds to be a completely fictional place but they decide to humour her anyway.
Her first course of action is to start berating the royal family about allowing slavery within the nation, claiming the German realms she loves so much have moved on from this barbaric practice towards enlightenment. Jamalul-Kiram is not so sure, but reasons with himself that outlawing slavery may make the nation look slightly less bad in the eyes of Europe, possibly to the point where the Spanish are not constantly breathing down our necks. He agrees, much to the outrage of most of the nation.
The Bone Sultanate, after doing nothing but sitting their while desperately trying to figure out how to get around the decaying mess of driftwood we have the audacity to call a boat, has chosen to give up and let their ally surrender.
A diplomat from the Netherlands arrives in Jolo to formally request military access. As it turns out, they are busy invading Kutai. Jamalul-Kiram decides it is probably for the best to play nice with the Dutch and agrees.
LOOK WHO'S COME CRAWLING BACK. Jamalul-Kiram finds this display amusing, to the point where he ends up sprawled on the floor in laughter. He comes across a shortness of breath and knocks himself out. Twelve days later, he has still not stirred, and it is at this point that people realise that for at least some of these twelve days he hasn't actually been knocked out.
His son, Mohammad Pulalun Kiram, succeeds him as Sultan.
The new Sultan decides that it may be slightly better to peeve the Dutch than to anger the population more. Spain will surely protect us, right?
But they are mildly unnerving, with a whole 5 regiments. That's 4 more than we have.
We have pissed off our population well enough that they can't help but become less pissed off. It is truly a good day in Sulu.
And so, 10 years later, the Sultanate stretches across Borneo. It won't be long now before it becomes something greater.

Next chapter:

Game: Victoria 2

Sultan of the Seas (An HPM Sulu AAR): Part 2: The End of the Dark Ages

Images: 38, author: taxintoxin, published: 2017-06-18, edited: 2017-06-19

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