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truth is life

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Welcome to my new India AAR! It focuses on the rise to power (or not) of a single minor Indian state, Rajputana, and the consequences, perils, and fortunes of empire. In a change from all my previous AARs, it does so in a history-book/narrative format. This post serves as a directory to all of the main AAR posts. (Right now, the links are all inactive and lead to Section I. This will be corrected as soon as I learn how to direct the links to the proper posts)

Part I: Crusader Kings

Raja Ranmal: 1399-?
[post=9397021]Section I: Opportunities[/post]
[post=9397402]Section I: Challenges[/post]
[post=9418509]Section II: Declaration of War[/post]
[post=9462399]Section III: Battles[/post]
[post=9673138]Section IV: Traitors![/post]
[post=9762398]Section V: From One to Another[/post]

(Game note: This is being played in MMP 1.404 under IN 3.2b)
 
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Section I:Opportunities

From A History of India, Volume 5: Division to Empire

By the late medieval period, India was suffering mightly. No longer a vast, unified state as it had been under the Mauryan and Guptan Empires, it was instead a series of tiny squabbling princely states, incapable of uniting even under extreme threat. And that threat came, in the form of wave after wave of Muslim invaders from the west. For over 400 years, they burned, pillaged, and conquered India. By this time, Islamic principalities occupied over a third of India, from the mouth of the holy Ganges, to the the central Deccan, to the rich and populous plains around Delhi.

EU3_1-6.jpg

Map of the religions of India in 1399; note the extensive regions of Muslim control

It seemed only a matter of time before India was wholly subject to the Islamic yoke. However, this did not come to pass, thanks largely to the efforts of Rajputana. A loosely organized collection of aristocrats, reproducing in miniature all the foibles, follies, and nobilities of greater Indian society, this state that was barely a state managed, nevertheless, to not only liberate India from the Muslims, but also to finally unite it into a single, modern state.

A great deal of the credit for this can be placed at the feet of the Raja of Rajputana, Ranmal. While possessing only modest skills in administration or warfare, and a somewhat charismatic presence, he did have the foresight to see that a situation most would consider hopeless--a state surrounded by hostile and heathen enemies--in fact possessed the seeds of greatness. For were not the peoples occupied by the Muslims themselves Hindu, and often closely culturally related to the Rajputs? Had not the Muslims, in their time, become almost as divided and fractious as the Hindus were? Could not a clever king or leader exploit this to build one of the greatest empires the world had ever seen?

King's Council Room, Jaigarh Fort, October 14th, 1399 CE
"My king, we barely have the military forces to defend our own land, let alone conquer other's! We must take the time to build up our army--use our treasury to hire mercenaries--call out the lords--before we can do anything so bold as conquering Sind or Gujarat," explained Udha Rao Khumba, principal advisor to Ranmal, just after he finished outlining his plan to liberate the Aryan Hindus of Sind and Gujarat.

"We need to liberate our brothers in faith suffering under Muslim exploitation! The people there are ready to rise up against their overlords--I can feel it. We will be greated as liberators and heroes!" retorted Ranmal, angrily. "We must do this"

Khumba took a deep breath before replying, "Yes sir, we must do this. But we must do this right. If we have inadequate military forces, we ourselves might be the conquered! Besides, even if the Gujarati and Sindhi initially hail us as liberators and heroes, as soon as we set up conscription stations and send out tax collectors, they'll 'forget' the role we played in ensuring their freedom. We will need more forces to control the probable rebellions, at the very least."

Ranmal sat back quietly, brooding for a moment before quietly responding, "You are, as always, right, Khumba. We will wait, build up our forces, and prepare, for the time being."
 
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Section I: Challenges

From A History of India, Volume 5: Division to Empire

Only two factors could prevent India from rising to become the modernized, advanced empire it in fact did: the Hindu caste system and the relative isolation of the subcontinent.

The caste system stratified society, preventing many from performing to their fullest potential, or even performing well. For thousands of years, India was saddled with incompetent priests, incompetent laborers, and incompetent rulers, all because of their ancestry. Eliminating, or at least greatly weakening the caste system was a necessity to allow India to successfully compete with rapidly advancing Western nation. However, the despotic rule of the early Rajas of Rajputana prevented them from making much headway in this direction; the caste system was simply too useful in controlling their subjects and preventing them from interfering in the business of government to be eliminated, at least at this early point.

Meanwhile, the isolation of India prevented many good ideas from outside the continent from making their way there, or being noticed once they got there. It may be somewhat surprising to say that India, known to the West since the time of Herodotus and source of much of the West's spices, was isolated, but the impenetrable jungles and mountains to the east, the rugged and impassable Himalayas to the north, the uncrossable and mysterious Indian Ocean to the south, and the many hostile and desert Muslim states to the west all combined to make India in fact one of the most difficult to reach areas of the Old World. However, if India's byzantine and difficult commerce system was simplified...if commerce was put in the hands of merchants and traders, not aristocrats...if trade was free, not bound by high tariffs and many embargoes...perhaps India could become so attractive as to overcome the natural barriers and become a center of high finance and trade, a center of the world economy--and the world's ideas. Such a prospect was quite attractive to Ranmal, especially as it would naturally weaken the aristocracy and further concentrate power in the prince's hands. Therefore, he took numerous steps during his life to make it easier for merchants to trade and lenders to lend. At first, these steps passed without comment from the populace or the aristocracy, more concerned as they were with Ranmal's crusades against the Muslim invaders.
 

volksmarschall

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I bid you good luck! I subscribe.
 

truth is life

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Okay, this is kind of bugging me. I'm trying to link to my individual posts in the first post, just like I said I would, but when I try they all go to post #2. What I'm doing is linking like url=(threadname)&postcount=x, where x is the number of the post I'm linking to (2, 3, etc.) Like I said though, this isn't working. How do I do this?
 

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Hmm... I don't know about that. I've never tried to do it before. I'm sure someone around here knows.
This is very well written. Subscribed!
 

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A rajputana AAR! Nice, just finished a game with them in MMP. Great nation with good potential really, I'll be reading this for sure.
 

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Section II: Declaration of War

Outskirts of Amber, Jaipur, September 25th, 1400 CE:
A pair of figures on horseback slowly made their way along a grass-covered track between several enormous squares of packed dirt. After a few minutes of silent movement, one spoke: "You see, I have taken your advice. The regular army is 8,000 men," gesturing to hundreds of infantrymen, cavalry, and war elephants drilling on the vast squares, "and we have another 6,000 ready to replace losses. We are ready." More to himself than anyone else, he whispered again, "We are ready." Suddenly springing to attention, he cried out, "Call the generals! We will have a council of war tonight!" and spurred his horse into motion, riding towards Jaigarh Fort.

King's Council Room, September 25th, 1400 CE:
A babble of voices filled the room, each against each, until a loud crash interrupted. The room rapidly quieted as all faces were turned towards the source of the crash, Ranmal. With a tone of barely-suppressed anger in his voice, he asked "Cannot my generals agree on anything?" Some turned aside, embarrassed, while others indignantly focused on the king, one by one raising their voices to protest until cut off by him. After a few minutes of silence, Ranmal visibly calmed, and began to speak, "Very well. I have been attending to what you have been saying, and I have decided our target will be Gujarat. Their only ally is Kashmir, too far away to harm us, while they drive a wedge between the allies Sind and Khandesh, and allow our forces to reach both. Finally, they are suffering from many revolts currently." Several generals immediately protested, but Ranmal simply replied, "It is decided." The Great Crusade had begun.
 

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Nice work, I hope your war elephants crush thine enemies beneath their feet.
 

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EnragedKiwi said:
This is very well written. Subscribed!
:eek:o You're far too kind!

gabor said:
intriguing, you're on the offensive as i see; good luck!
Yup, my goal is to form Hindustan by 1550, which means I have to conquer Delhi and (parts of) Bihar by 1450! So I have to move very, very fast.

To all: I shall be posting another update by 4 Central Time on Sunday (unless I hit a particularly bad spot of writer's block, of course)
 

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Good luck with Dehli - they can be monsters!

Very interesting so far. Keep it up. :)
 

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Section III: Battles

On Campaign, Province of Udaipur, January 1401 CE:
"We must go on the offensive!" shouted a bloody-nosed young man, dressed in what once may have been the finest of silks, but were now little more than tattered ribbons. "This hanging back and waiting for the enemy to come to us is--is--is simply unmanly!" A much older figure, sporting a recently acquired black eye, growled in return, "Going on the offensive would be suicide! There are no crops to plunder, and how else shall we get food for our elephants and horses?"
Ignored in the back of the impromptu strategy session/fistfight was Ranmal, standing helplessly next to Khumba. "My generals and warriors spend more time fighting each other than the enemy! We must go on the offensive, at least to ensure they don't all kill each other!"
"Sire," Khumba cautiously replied, "Bhagwant has a point. It will be very difficult to supply an offensive force right now, especially in the lowlands. We should hold back, at least until just after the monsoon season."
Ranmal stood, thinking--or perhaps simply dithering, Khumba thought, much of the time it seemed quite the same--for several minutes while shouts and the occasional slap of fist against man sounded in the background.
"Even so," he at last replied, "my nobles thirst for battle and war, and denying them could be--dangerous. I shall keep control of my half of the army, to defend the homeland, while those nobles who cannot wait to fight may enlist in the other half, which will attack. That should satisfy both groups."
"Sire, an excellent plan!" responded Khumba, while inwardly considering:
Perhaps, perhaps. Seperating out the more aggressive nobles could be dangerous, to not only the king, but the kingdom. However, conquest is needed, and we have not gotten any thus far. On the whole, this will probably be successful...
"Come then!" Ranmal boomed, while a noble screamed in pain. "We must tell the nobility of our decision, after all."

Surrender Negotiations, Outskirts of Baroda, December 1401 CE:
"We cannot hold out any longer," confessed Mohammed Shah of Baroda as he was escorted into the tent. "We are out of food, water--our walls have fallen, our men deserting! We cannot hold. So, I will surrender to you, with only the condition that you do not plunder our city. We have suffered enough."
Ram Singh scowled as he listened to the desperate prince's plea for mercy. The troops were eager for plunder, and the nobles even more so. He himself had hoped to extract some wealth from the fallen city, and perhaps even find a few pretty young wenches. Still, though, just because you promised to do something doesn't mean you have to do it, and the fool would probably believe him if he agreed to this foolish condition.
"Agreed," he responded after a dignified-looking period of thought. "We will not plunder, I swear it."
"Then I shall have the gates open at noon tomorrow," replied Mohammed, eagerly.
Fool!

Center of Baroda, December 1401 CE:
"--And I accept your surrender in the name of Raja Ranmal. This city is now under the control of Rajputana." finished Ram. He turned and nodded to his second-in-command and the assembled troops. Instantly, they began to disperse into the streets in search of anything valuable, any food, and any women. A horrified grunt from over his shoulder caused him to turn around, to see Mohammed Shah standing there, stricken.
"I--I--I thought you agreed not to plunder!" cried Mohammed after a few seconds.
"Promises can be broken. Especially promises to heathens and invaders," Ram said, darkly, as members of his bodyguard closed in and seized the unfortunate prince. "He deserves to die for what he and his family and his religion have done! Run him through."
Instantly, he was stabbed by half a dozen swords, and collapsed on the ground. In the background, screams and shouts could be heard as the Rajputanan army gorged itself on the city.
Victory! exulted Ram in his mind. And because of me, not that dragging Ranmal!
 

truth is life

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demokratickid: Truly!

Like I posted in my other AAR, I just 'finished' building my first computer, and so might not post here this weekend. I promise I'll get to it the next week I can, though (might not be next week since I have a physics test to study for, but maybe the week after).
 

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A really nasty series of tests over the last two weeks (every single one of my classes had a test in that time. 5 of them in the last week. And then finals start *this* week! Fun!), so I couldn't update last week. However, I fully intend to have an update up by Sunday for both this and my other AAR. Luckily, I don't have to actually *play* anymore for this AAR (which is good since I really, really want to play Simcity 4 right now because of the thread over in OT), but it's still quite time consuming to write an update (even a short one).

As I am sure any readers still watching will be happy to hear, I will be home for the summer no later than perhaps Wednesday or Thursday a week and a half from now. With that, I expect I will be able to update much more regularly, since I will have continuous access to my computer, and will therefore be able to post and play at any time, not just on the weekends.
 

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Qorten: Thanks, I shall try. At least my two hardest subjects aren't having finals.

gabor: I am trying to keep my AARs from going the way of the dodo.

I just finished setting up my new computer, and it looks like all the saves, pictures, documents, etc. associated with both my AARs have been successfully transferred over, so there shouldn't be any problems getting this out! Already it feels much, much faster than my old computer.