It's 3 AM and your phone begins to ring. You pad your way over to your coffer through the rush strewn floor and look at the caller on your Ratberry cellphone. The seller in Antioch's souk assured you that the Rat was on everyone's "Do Not Call" list.
"Drat! The Rat!" you grumble. "How did he get through?" you wonder.
"Please...don't hurt me!" squeaks the Rat as you grudgingly make the connection.
"Ratty, cut the drama. What's you real status?"
"Ahh, well...methinks I am alright...for now...but...but...the Caliph, and Saladin, and that malcontent The Wazir are encroaching on my imperial lands! I have built my castle, surrounded it with a moat, and my glorious apple farms are flourishing...for now that is."
You sever the connection and bury your head in your hands, then shrug on your mailcoat to become a man of iron.
A watery divide, with only one way across allows you build your army. Likewise, your enemies will find that to their advantage as well.
Assist the Rat, who has built a keep within an old settlement by the sea. The hills and valleys give great cover, but beware-your enemies know that too.