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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Farquharson

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Well everything seems to be going smoothly enough for Devesh so far. As for early Vijayanagaran poetry, I think I learned some once. Hmmm, let me see...
There was a young man from Darjeeling
Who boarded a bus bound for Ealing
It said on the door
"Don't spit on the floor"
So he lay down and spat on the ceiling
Or perhaps that was the Mughal period, I can't quite remember... :D
 

Fiftypence

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anonymous4401: Similar to haiku, but earlier and in Kannada. ;)

lifeless: Nope. Devesh did not say the threat was immediate or immanent.

Farquharson: Definitely Mughal period! :D

Duke of Wellington: Yeah, definitely.

J. Passepartout: As it turned out he did not need to. He probably could have done if neccesary.
 
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Fiftypence

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Part 6 - War in India​

vij12.jpg
Lord Shiva.

1419

In the weeks following Devesh Chandra's arrival at the court of Deva Raya II he gained much influence over the affairs of state, in a beguiling manner. The Emperor came to rely on his judgement completely, and Devesh found that the he could get away with suggesting and guiding the Emperor as long as he was willing to listen to the Emperor's poetry. Devesh's first language was Telugu, and so the poetry, written and recited in the Kannada language sounded strange and unwieldy to his ears, but it was nonetheless tolerable.

Devesh found that the treasury was quite plush, and so advised the Emperor to send tax collectors to the provinces of Bangalore and Yanam, as well as suggesting that Vijayanagar's army concentrate more on the techniques of fighting battles on land, as the Empire had no navy to speak of.

vij6.jpg

Later in the year the army was sent into the province of Pondicherry, in order to fight the rebellious natives who threatened Imperial rule. This gave Devesh the opportunity to get to grips with the army.

"So we have 16,000 men under arms, and...5,000 cavalry according to the records."

"Indeed," said the Emperor. "Oh, have you seen the stables yet?"

"Yes, they are very impressive. Although I still think elephants are somewhat impractical in battle. They are more likely to kill our own men than the enemy..."

"Nonsense! Can't have an army without elephants!"

"As you wish, Emperor..."

1420

A year had passed since Devesh's arrival, and without realising it the Emperor seemed to wield less and less power of affairs of state, and was encouraged by Devesh to spend more time with his wives and writing poetry. An envoy was sent to Orissa, a marriage proposal for one of the King's daughters to become one of Deva Raya II's wife, which was accepted.

1422

"Ah, Devesh. A fig?"

Devesh frowned, politely declining. "No, Emperor, I have serious news. We are at war with Mysore."

The Emperor choked on a fig in shock, eventually coughing up the pip he had swallowed. "We are what?!"

"War with Mysore. They will receive the declaration of war within a few days. It is an unfortunate situation that we should have to fight our fellow Hindus, but it is neccesary for the good of the City of Victory that we gain a firm, tight grip of Southern India. I suggest we get our armies ready immediately."

"Wait, wait, we declared war on them? I don't remember doing that..." He raised his eyes suspiciously.

"Uh...you may have been drunk."

"Ah, yes. That would explain it." Devesh sighed with relief.

In early February Deva Raya II led the armies of Vijayanagar into battle against Mysore, and appointed Devesh as his Marshal-in-chief. The first action of the war saw a minor battle in Kerala, resulting in the complete annihilation of the 2,000 Mysore soldiers unfortunate enough to be stationed there. Then came the big test; 15,000 troops from the City of Victory against a 19,000 strong all infantry army, the main host of the Kingdom of Mysore. Although outnumbered, Vijayanagar had cavalry advantage which helped carry the day.

vij8.jpg

They settled down for a siege, while Mysore headed north and lay siege to Vijayanagar. With the Emperor absent, an individual named Ramachandra seized the opportunity by gathering together a band of men and storming the palace, and claiming that he was the rightful emperor. Only a month later his second in command, Vijaya Raya had Ramachandra murdered in his sleep and took power for himself. However, Vijaya Raya was himself deposed in January 1423 by a band of men loyal to Deva Raya II, and so normal service was restored, all without the Emperor knowing. No one ever told him as it was a bit embarrassing. All the while, the army of Mysore remained camped outside, unable to make any real progress in their siege.

vij9.jpg

1423

In February joyous news came to Devesh and the Emperor; the citizens of Mysore had opened the gates in desperation. The war was won! Deva Raya triumphantly entered the city, and formalised the annexation of the Kingdom of Mysore into Vijayanagar. Although marvellous, Mysore had not one-hundredth of the splendour of the City of Victory, and Devesh was pleased to be able to go home. He had also altered his view of war elephants.

With the south secure, eyes turned to the Muslim threat from the north. The Hindu states of the region were displeased with Vijayanagar's actions, fearing that the same fate would befall them, but Devesh maintained that it had been the right thing to do. Hinduism could only win if it was united, and if the smaller Hindu states were not willing to unify peacefully then they would be forced to do so at the point of a sword.

vij10.jpg
 
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unmerged(17581)

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Peaceful unification through the sword!

And Vijayanagar should definitely keep elephants in its armies, all the way to the modern age, because they're awesome. :nods:
 

unmerged(47162)

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the emperor sure is eh...not alert is he...ah well it is all for the better..
 

J. Passepartout

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I agree with anonymous4401 and the emperor on the uses of elephants. Also, I agree with the idea of not keeping the emperor informed of anything, for fear that he might interfere.
 

unmerged(17581)

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Also, tea. A Tea Road, if you will.
 

Saulta

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Funny story, and excellent writing. But what I don´t understand, is why in the world southern India only are colonies? Is that historical? Anyways, keep up the good work, :)
 

Duke of Wellington

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Saulta said:
why in the world southern India only are colonies? Is that historical? Anyways, keep up the good work, :)
Thats so that the European ai has a chance of setting up colonies there as they did historically because their ability to wage long distance wars is less than adequate to put it mildly. In reality there were kingdoms and states along all that coast.
 

Farquharson

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I notice that Kerala, Cochin and Madurai were all inhabited before the war but not after. Burned down trading posts, I presume? Well, nice start tidying things up with Mysore, and excellent progress for Devesh in his campaign to take over the reins of power completely! ;)
 

Saulta

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Duke of Wellington said:
Thats so that the European ai has a chance of setting up colonies there as they did historically because their ability to wage long distance wars is less than adequate to put it mildly. In reality there were kingdoms and states along all that coast.

That´s weird, but funny, :p
 

Registered

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Nice work. Good luck keeping the Nothern hordes of your back.
 
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unmerged(36826)

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Farquharson said:
I notice that Kerala, Cochin and Madurai were all inhabited before the war but not after. Burned down trading posts, I presume?


The natives there are unpleasant and numerous ;)

Very good AAR :cool:
 

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Fnuco: I certainly hope so!

anonymous4401: Yes. Elephants are indeed awesome. :cool:

lifeless: I guess he doesn't need to be particularly alert with Devesh around. ;)

Duke of Wellington: Absolutely.

J. Passepartout: That's always the worry. :D

Saulta: DoW has already explained this better than I would have done.

Farquharson: Yeah, they were burnt down in the war.

Registered: Thanks :)

Dr Bob: Thanks. :)

Just a note, I have renamed Hyderabad as the Bahmanid Empire as this is a (slightly) more historically accurate name. There never was a country called "Hyderabad".
 

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Part 7 - Into the North

vij20.jpg

The minarets of Hyderabad

1424

"So Devesh, how are our diplomatic efforts going? Any success?"

Devesh coughed, and smiled weakly. "Well, Orissa rejected our alliance proposal. Again."

"Damn them! Why don't they like us?"

"Probably because of the war in Mysore. But don't worry about that, for they will only go on and betray us in about one hundred and thirty years..."

The Emperor frowned. "How do you know that?"

"I'm a mystic, remember? Anyway, there is some good news to report. It is has been quite an exceptional year, and the treasury is more full than usual."

"Ah, that's excellent Devesh!"

"I suggest we appoint some new additional tax collectors in Mangalore and Madras provinces."

"Of course, of course," Deva Raya II replied distractedly. Then he smiled. "You know, it almost seems that you actually run this empire, Devesh!"

"Ha ha, yes."

1425

A quiet year, the only event of note being a marriage between two nobles, thus cementing ties between Vijayanagar and Jodhpur.

1426

Vijayanagar's reputation amongst fellow Hindus remained poor, a fact that great worried Devesh. He knew that ultimately many of those states would turn traitor at Kalikota, but for the time being Vijayanagar lacked any true allies. As he wandered through the vast gardens of the City of Victory he reflected on the last seven years, which had seemed like nothing compared to the trillions he had spent in the ethereal realm. As he thought he found himself in a secluded glade, and was vaguely surprised to see, standing beside one of the waterways, a cow. A very familiar cow.

"Lord Krishna?"

"Hello again, Devesh." The Deva emerged from the undergrowth, and patted the cow gently. "There have been some devleopments that you should know of."

Krishna began walking, and the cow followed. Devesh jogged and caught up, and listened to Krishna's words.

"Devesh, the Deva's have been greatly impressed with your progress so far. Your actions have really galvanised them, have given them a sense of purpose that endless eternal recurrence had dulled somewhat. The ripples of change are emanating all throughout the universe, and suddenly the endless doom has been altered."

"That's excellent," said Devesh. Krishna nodded, but looked trouble.

"But, Devesh, not everyone is happy about this change. While the Devas dream of a world where the Eternal Way is followed by all of mankind and rejoice in your efforts, the demonic entities known as the Asuras grow angry. They loved the pain and suffering that spewed forth from Kalikota, and are plotting and scheming to bring you down and restore the dread eternity. There are certain people who have become disciples of the Asura, all over the world, whose sole goal is your destruction. You must battle these individuals, while we Devas continue our eternal struggle with the Asuras."

"I see. What should I do?" said Devesh, intensely worried.

"You must expand, and make Vijayanagar stronger at once. I advise you to strike at the Bahmanids, in the north."

And so, on May 14th 1426 Vijayanagar declared war on the Bahmanids, and hit straight at their capital, Hyderabad. The reason given for the war was Vijayanagar's desire to take Maharashtra, upon which they had a legitimate claim.

vij14.jpg

It resulted in a defeat for the Vijayanagar as the army in Hyderabad was bolstered by reinforcements from Bastar. After retreating, the Hindu army was split, and the provinces of Bastar and Khandesh were put under siege while the City of Victory itself was besieged by the Bahmanids.

vij15.jpg

1427

Bastar fell in April and Khandesh in September. Hyderabad and Maharashtra were put under siege.

1428

The siege in Hyderabad was going well. Devesh, Marshal-in-chief of the Army of Victory, was bored. It had been a long siege, made all the more difficult as most of the inhabitants of the city were Hindus. As he was surveying the flat countryside for enemy troops Devesh spotted a lone rider heading straight for the encampment.

Devesh rode out to greet the messenger, and was shocked by what he learned. The Muslims had taken the City of Victory! Devesh gritted his teeth, and informed the Emperor. Deva Raya II wanted to abandon the siege and retake the capital, but Devesh persuaded him to stay the course and to take Hyderabad, and then to recover the City of Victory.

Hyderabad fell in May, prompting the Bahmanids to offer peace.

vij16.jpg

"No way," bellowed the Emperor. "Those Muslim dogs will not get off that lightly."

Devesh nodded, and smiled. For once he did not have to do anything to change the Emperor's mind.

The Bahmanid army had retreated to Maharashtra, and remained larger than the combined armies of Vijayanagar. One army was sent to recover the capital while the army of Deva Raya II attacked the defenders of Maharashtra. This was the crucial battle of the war; victory here would mean almost certain Hindu triumph in the war. Outnumbered, Vijayanagar once again relied on cavalry superiority to gain the advantage.

vij17.jpg

The elephants carried the day, and a siege was established. In November, much to everyone's relief the City of Victory was retaken, and elsewhere the Bahmanid sultan was attempting to retake Bastar.

1429

However, Maharashtra was to fall first. With all key Bahmanid cities in Hindu hands the Muslims were never going to get off lightly.

vij18.jpg

It was a great victory, and Deva Raya II and Devesh returned to the City of Victory as heroes. People quickly forgot the year-long Bahmanid occupation,, and the gold gained was used to appoint tax collectors in Maharashtra and Mysore. Later in the year, a colony was established at Goa.

vij19.jpg

"Devesh."

"Lord Krishna, it is good to see you. The victory over the Bahmanids is surely a great triumph that will become the stories of epics."

"Of course. But although you have struck a blow to your enemies, you must not forget what the future holds. The Asuras continue to plot, but you've hurt their cause. I and my fellow Deva's vision is starting to become a reality, but a lot lies ahead of you. You must not forget your Hindu faith and all that goes with it. You must not neglect dharma and the eternal way."

"Of course, Lord Krishna. Of course."

The Deva bade him farewell, and Devesh found himself alone in the gardens. After a couple of seconds he turned, and went to the Virupaksha temple to worship in silent contemplation.
 
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