By Salah ad-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub, Royal Historian and Adviser to the High Imam Rakeem Iblis in 644 FK.
My Lord High Imam Rakeem Iblis,
Al-Abyad, remember, is only one city in a mighty catalogue of misery, whose entries are inscribed in tears. The believers of Thenos and the Caliphate of Ashemelech have been fighting on and off for more than 300 years. In 309 FK the First Crusade of Thenos saw a mighty host of crusaders slaying and destroying a lot of the unsuspecting Caliphate. Since then has come the dismal march of two more Crusades – each seared in blood and fire into the conflicting myths and memories of both sides. The intervals between the Crusades have not been filled with peace but by hate crimes, raids, uprisings and atrocities. Caliphate inhabitants today still cite, as if it were yesterday, the massacre of Alhallabad in 310 FK, and the descendents of the survivors of the 2nd Crusade still remember the bloodbath and desperate flight from As-Siyassi in 496 FK. The slaughter last month in Al-Abyad, in which an almost entire city, children and women, were killed in a single day, will pour fresh poison into the brimming well of hate.
A conflict that has lasted more than 300 years is not susceptible to easy solutions or glib judgments. Those who choose to reduce it to “colonialism” of the one side or “land preservation” of the other are just stroking their own prejudices. At heart, this is a struggle of the peoples for the power to force and expand their religious beliefs. It is not the sort of a dispute in which enemies push back and forth over a line until they grow tired. It is much more complicated than that.
Religion is why this conflict grinds on remorselessly. During eruptions of violence, the mantra of diplomats and advisors is the need for a two-religion solution. It sounds so simple; if two peoples cannot agree on a pantheon, they must have two pantheons. This was obvious to outsiders even before the First Crusade. In Thenares, however, things are seen in a different light. After a new doctrine was implemented in 641 FK, the Church has been extremely hostile and aggressive to all non-believers. The doctrine basically and simply states that all Churchmen of Thenos must aggressively pursue a way to turn people towards to Light. It is clear that they want a war.
That said I feel our only option is to answer this in kind. There will be no rest or peace until the infidels have been banished from our lands. Until the church of Thenos understands that there are easier targets for their misguided and heretic hate. Our preponderance should be made clear in al-Wazif, when the Prophet joins our ranks and our army will shine in all its might. After our win we should follow them to Thenares and destroy their church completely!
Your faithful servant,
Salah ad-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub