Fresh off a (lucky) stomping of the Ottoman Empire, “Just barely!” became our new battlecry. Once my new territories had stabilized, I considered the future. The Portuguese cowardice really spoke to me. I could fight a costly succession of wars against the Ottomans, or I could let others do it for me. Others. Definitely. Man, the proud Empire was beginning to look a lot like Portugal.
The Ottoman Empire had been beaten badly, but it still had a standing army and could recover into a force stronger than mine. I started sending spies. Not a lot. Just here and there. I funded revolts. Where I could I funded local patriots who were a lot stronger than grumbling peasants. In the beginning, the Ottomans were able to put down some of the rebellions, but not all. After a few years, their entire country was ripped apart by strife. I was busy relaxing on a Black Sea beach.
Several provinces were absorbed into my empire. Others became independent states. The Ottoman Empire was effectively finished. Periodic “mopping up” wars would add Anatolia to the Empire, piece by forsaken piece.
Next, “Who or what is a Mamluk?” Part 4.