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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

PeterCorless

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One of the greatest challenges in EU is to see if you can take a non-European country and attempt to compete with the historical colonial empires. In this case, I wanted to try my first hand in EU4 with Ceylon.

Chapters

Strategic Considerations

  • Ceylon is no longer a two-province minor (TPM) from EU3. It is now one province minor (OPM). Which means you have very little room to make mistakes.
  • Ceylon is Buddhist, while the nearest neighbors on the subcontinent are Hindu. While royal marriages and alliances are possible, it likely means facing a lot of direct enmity and rivalries.
  • Going for a colonization-based empire will heavily tax Diplomacy and Admin trees.
  • There are uninhabited islands in the Indian Ocean which can be colonized without requiring Quest for the New World (QFTNW). This means that there is an option to take "Expansion" as a national idea first, to get the colonist, as well as the +1 merchant, and, in due time, the +2 diplomatic relations. However, eventually "Exploration" will also be needed, meaning that the first two choices (Tech 4 and 7) are likely going to both be Diplomatic trees.
  • Admin will be taxed by stability, as well as making cores of new colonies and any expansion on the continent.
  • Military power should be a simple matter of teching up, since it will not be particularly taxed with any national ideas.
  • Besides the challenges of any Subcontinent and South Asian rivals, this is also a test to see what sort of position Ceylon can get into by the 16th-17th Century, to be able to weather any colonial expansion of the Western powers.

Goals
  • Be the Bodhisattva: Lead Ceylon to Bliss in this Illusory World (i.e., survive & thrive)
  • Achieve Enlightenment: Spread Buddhism
  • Sail on, Ceylon: Become a global colonial power (reach the New World and Africa)
  • Teach Humility: Beat up a few of the big powers in the game to show you're not a push-over.
  • Optional: Westernization is a possibility, but not required.

Ground Rules
  • This is a challenge to see if Ceylon can become a colonial power on par with European powers.
  • It is not a test to see how much of a he-man I am; this will not be an "ironman" game.
  • This is my first EU4 game. As such, there will be adjustments that I will make as a player in order to understand the new mechanics. (e.g., I restarted the game entirely five times when I was just learning how to balance initial purchases and learning how not to bankrupt a nation before I even unpaused the game).
  • I reserve the right to "save scum" quite a bit (i.e., roll time back to a place that sucks less) in order to see if it these goals are indeed achievable. This will be especially true when all the colonies in the world pop-pop-pop due to near-constant native uprisings. (It's one of my least-favorite mechanics in the game.) However, if I mess up in a war, or if I get an occasional bad event, I'll keep it. Not everything needs to go my way.
  • Follow missions as much as possible, but it is alright to cancel a mission if it turns out to be well-nigh unachievable (i.e., make friends with someone who is your enemy).


Augurs and Divinity

With that, our story opens in the year 1987. That is, the Buddhist year 1987, which equates to the Christian year 1444. The cool winds of Kārttika carry something different in them than usual. What might it be?

"Dharma," the father tells his young son, the Prince.

Their bare feet make hardly any noise, as they make their way step-by-step across the cold damp sand. Instead, there are the sounds of the wind in their ears, and the waves along the beach. And the trees whipping their fronds back-and-forth frenetically. The birds, though, were hushed at the end of the day.

"You can sense this cool wind? It is your Dharma. A righteousness which you will bring with you in coming days."

The son gazed northwards, where stars appeared in the distance above the windswept sea.

"How can you be so sure, father?"

"In this, you must trust me, my son. In due time, I will teach you what it means to wield your divinity."

The pair walked quietly along the sand, as if alone. Yet behind them walked over two hundred retainers: monks, guards, and servants, a panopoly all arrayed in two quiet lines trailing far behind the king and his son. All this day, they had listened to the priests make their prophetic interpretations of the King's recent dreams. He had apparently been visited by Maithree (Maitreya), the buddha of the future.

In his dream, the king was told there would one day be a great war upon the seas. And, that if their current fate was not altered, their kingdom would be known as "The Last Island in the World." Like the kings of Thambapanni, their nation would be tricked by demons in disguise. Eventually, a great armada would come down upon them, enslaving, even exterminating, their people. Yet, if they were to learn enlightenment from these auguries, then their fate could be changed. If they embraced the lessons of mercy, compassion, and enlightenment, then hereafter the Kingdom of Kotte would be known as "The First Island in the World."

Contemplating this, the royal father and son walked eastwards into the gathering darkness along the strand. No more words need be spoken now. It was time to contemplate the nature of their destiny.
 
Last edited:

PeterCorless

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1. Ruminations (1444-1450)

At the beginning of the game, after hiring a +1 advisor, I had the following:
  • King: Parakramabahu VII Kotteid (2-2-2, age 56; born 1388, inaugurated 1 Jan 1408)
  • Heir: Jayabahu Kotteid (2-2-2, age 36; born 1408)
  • Advisor: Bhuvanaikabahu Jayawardene, +1, Natural Scientist (Adm Tech Cost -10%, 0.9/month)
  • Power: 5-4-4
  • Technology: 2-2-2
  • Income: 1.55
  • Expenses: 1.45
  • Balance: +0.10
  • Rank: 20
  • Army: three infantry regiments
  • Navy: two light ships and a cog

Foreign Affairs

Our mission was "Improve Our Prestige!", which we did rather well at. By 1450, we had gotten to +28.

The first action I could take was to put the two light ships out to patrol Bengal and Ceylon, and I also placed my merchants:

  • Bhuvanaikabahu Kalpage in Ceylon, and
  • Vinala Dharmasuriya in Bengal (where, by 1450 we became #10 in trade power with 8.3).

The two diplomats I sent thusly:

  • Bhuvanaikabahu Kalpage was sent to the capital of Ayutthaya. Considering their personal union with the Sukhothai, and their vassalage of the Khmer, the 19-year-old King Trailokanat Suphannaphum seemed to be a strong figure to gain influence with. He was a renown administrator, and there was much to learn at his court.
  • Jayabahu Pushpakumara was sent to Hsenwi, the capital of the Shan. King Narapati Ava, age 23, was a warlike and talented leader.

I mostly had them improve relations, with occasional side-missions when opportunity presented itself. By 1450, we had alliances, royal marriages, military access and were guaranteeing both Ayuthayya and Shan. Neither had called us into any wars. Yet most troubling, both considered the other kingdom their enemy.

Ayuthayya was at peace, and was allied with Dai Viet as well as our kingdom. Their king, being an excellent administrator, decided to simply reap the benefits of peace.

Whereas by 1450 Shan was in great trouble. They entered an offensive war with Bengal to conquer Silhet. That had initially gone well, with Shan, Taunga, Pegu and Lan Xang on one side, and Bengal, Dehli and Jangladesh on the other. But eventually the tide turned. Two initial victories were met with a string of defeats in the field. The war had turned so badly that Hsenwei was occupied by the Bengalese. Worst of all, in 1450, an opportunistic Ming Empire decided to take the opportunity to invade Xiankuohang. We had been fortunate to have formed our alliance after the outbreak of the war with Bengal, or we would have been pulled directly into the fray.

Jayabahu Pushpakumara, still stationed in Hsenwei, wept as he saw the beautiful city sacked. Yet it was not for him to interfere with the course of events. He had bowed low and watched the mournful procession, along with the other fearful and sobbing dwellers of the capital, as their king went into exile before the city fell to Bengalese siege.

Closer to our island, Raja Devaraya II Sangama of Vijayanagar, along with his allies of Mewar and Bastar, had devastated Ala ud-Din Humanyun Shah of the Bahmanis. Gujarat and his vassal Khandesh had also helped dismantle the Bahmanis. Raichur Doab, Desh, Bijapur, and Ahmadnagar had been conquered by the Raja, while the province of Marathwada had been ceded to Gujarat.

Further, by 1450 a horrendously devastating Golkandan revolt had spread across both Teligana province of the Bahmanis and the Kosta region of Orissa. These lands were held by thousands of rebels. Banditry and warlords swept the countryside. Maratha and Telegu fought vicious battles for the fate of the nation. The army of Orissa, of 3,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry, finally arrived in late 1450 to take back their coastal province. But Golconda remained firmly in rebel hands. The Golkondan rebel army had moved on to Rayalaseema and were besieging the Vijayanagar city of Penukonda. Their royal army, half the size of the rebels, remained sheltered in Madurai at the far end of the nation from the rebels.

Rebels had also risen in Marathwada, 9,000 strong, to continue a struggle through rebellion against Gujarat what their king could not achieve through war. By 1450 the city of Daulatabad was heavily beseiged.

Apart from that, Sind had swallowed Marwar whole. Which starkly brought to home the dangers of being a small fish in a big subcontinent.

Military

Acting mostly in observance, we kept our army at 3 regiments of 1,000 men, and built our reserves up from 9.720 to its full 10,820. Our budget was so tightly balanced that we could not afford another regiment even if we wished it. We also made our realm as stable as it possibly could be. We created two more light ships, and doubled our patrols of the trade routes.

Economy
By 1450, this was our economy:

  • Income: 1.74 (+0.19)
    • Taxation: 0.43
    • Production: 0.34
    • Trade: 0.97
  • Expenses: 1.69 (+0.24)
    • Advisors: 0.95
    • Army Maintenance: 0.33 (0%)
    • Fleet Maintenance: 0.41 (100%)
  • Balance: +0.05
  • Treasury: 1.57

  • Trade Efficiency: 1.0%
  • Trade Range: 200
  • Trade Steering: +16.5%
  • Trade Income: +1%
  • Mercantilism: +10%

  • Ceylon:
    • 1444: Income: 0.83, Trade Power: 14.9, Value: 6.30
    • 1450: Income: 0.96, Trade Power: 21.6, Value: 6.22
    • Difference: Income: +0.13, Trade Power: +6.7, Value: -0.08
    • by 1450 we became #3 in trade power behind Vijayanagar and Gujarat
  • Bengal:
    • 1444: Income: 0.07, Trade Power: 2.0, Value: 6.18
    • 1450: Income: 0.27, Trade Power: 8.3, Value: 5.74
    • Difference: Income: +0.20, Trade Power: +6.3, Value: -0.44
    • by 1450 we were #10 in trade power in this node

Standing in the World
However, though our nation's prestige had risen (+4 to +28), and our stability had improved dramatically (+0 to +3) our rank in the world had dropped greatly. We had been rated 20th at the game's beginning. By 1450, we were 67th.

Score & Ranking, 1444 to 1450
  • Score: 0 (+0/month)
  • Rank: from 20th to 67th
  • Administrative: 154th to 16th
  • Diplomatic: 164th to 76th
  • Military: 26th to 205th

ceylon-1450.png


Ruminations

King Parakramabahu, now 62, moved with stiffness in his joints. As he slowly made his way through the sheltered promenade of his quiet palace, he softly and nasally sang a prayer, trying to make the same resonance in his nose as Buddhist monks were apt to do, "Oh lord Buddha, who are compassionate and all-wise. You know of the reason why my knees ache! These pains must be due to my pride. Yet let the pains be on me, and not upon my good people."

For a while, no one spoke. Eventually the silence was broken. From beside him came the contemplative deep tone of his chief advisor, Bhuvanaikabahu Kalpage.

"Well-spoken, my king."

Prince Jayabahu remained quiet. It was clear to him that his father had many years of life before him, but he always spoke of illness, the grave, and the afterlife. More of the administration of the army and navy had fallen to the prince.

He reflected back upon the day when his father gave him his own sword -- the very sword he had used to unify the island -- and entrusted him with the nation's defense.

"Yes, my son. I am a stronger warrior. You remember how I taught you the dance of swords? Yes. I always hit you hard. It was to teach you. Yet what did you do? Did you hit hard in return? No. You learned to avoid my blade. This, my son, is the kind of general that our nation needs. You are good at bending, like the trees in our monsoons. You are faster than me. This is a time for our nation to bend, to yield, and to be missed by any fatal blows. This, my son, is why you are now the better general for our lands."

At the time, the words struck Jayabahu's heart heavily. "You wish for me to be a coward, father?"

"No. But you must make sure our small nation is not engulfed in the madness of the demons that possess so many other so-called-great kings and shahs. Look at Narapati Ava. He is younger than you, and he is rash. I had hoped that we would marry into his family, and our lands would be prosperous and secure. But see how he has been exiled from his capital, and risks all of his kingdom? He has a son, but his son is so young that, should his father fall, and even if they manage to keep their nation together through these wars, there will be a weak regency for years to come. Even so, King Narapati has many other provinces to run to. But, my son..." and here, his father slowed his words even more, "this island is all we have to call home. It must not be lost. You must avoid battle now to make this land great one day."

Reflecting even now, the words sorely rankled in the prince's heart. Jayabahu did not personally consider himself a coward. But, yes, he knew fear. Each new day that reports reached their court describing the sheer size of the armies that battled across the other nations, the more Jayabahu gravely understood his father's wisdom. This was not the time for the Kingdom of Kotte to be arrogant. They had finally united their island under their father's rule. But all of that could be lost with a change of the wind. A monsoon they could survive. But not the armada that would make them the "Last Island in the World."

When the trio eventually arrived at the end of the hallway, before they walked out into the sunny courtyard beyond, King Parakramabahu turned and without a word, embraced his eldest son. It took Jayabahu by surprise. Eventually he returned the hug, wrapping his arms around his father's weathered form. He gazed over his father's shoulder at the dark eyes of Bhuvanaikabahu, the most trusted administrator.

The king and his advisor had become increasingly close over the years. After turning the military over to the prince, the king spent most of his days studying religious texts, trying to find wisdom in how to rule. And in the counting of the rolls of the people and their taxes. And, this the prince thought as odd, but his father also spent an inordinate amount of hours personally hearing the cases of the peasants and their legal arguments. He wasn't a very good judge, but he was enthusiastic. His father would quote his advisor, "I must learn to be, if I am to know true wisdom." The peasants treated these court hearings very seriously, even though the stakes were usually a farm animal or a small amount of coinage. Sometimes, though, the prince was convinced they would make up cases against each other just for a chance to stand before the king and the court and win some petty glory amongst the other peasants. "Monkey King's Court," the prince called it in his mind.

Gazing at the king's chief administrator, he reflected that they stood at the same height. As well, Bhuvanaikabahu and the prince were nearly the same age. Indeed, at times, the king seemed to treat his advisor as his most-favored son. So when he embraced his father and gazed at the administrator, he tried his best to imagine what was on the administrator's mind.

Most of the nation's wealth was spent upon his bureaucracy. The budget for his royal magistrates was greater than all the money set aside for the army and the navy combined. The army was paid the least. "Fortunately, you are not in any war right now," Bhuvanaikabahu would say, when he turned down any requests for better salary for the meager army.

Bhuvanaikabahu said nothing. Instead, he almost smiled and lowered his gaze, ever-so-slightly averting his dark eyes from the prince. His eyes seemed to be unfocused, yet were watching the king's back. Jayabahu battled his inward feelings of jealousy and suspicion. Could he not simply accept his father's decisions on the ruling of the realm? Could he not likewise trust the king's closest advisor? He struggled with this, yet hoped his face did not betray him. He too smiled, in a way. On his face. But inwardly, his heart was not smiling.

Jayabahu did not share his father's mysticism. He had heard the prophecies and would sit attentively when the priests would speak about their nation's eventual great fate. But his inner feelings always left him uncertain of the future. Against such great armies, and with such a small treasury, how would their nation stand against a sea of fates?

Just then, his father squeezed him just slightly and laughed. "Oh my son! You have such a heavy heart." He patted his son's back and shook him just a little. Bhuvanaikabahu raised his gaze and, focusing again on the king and his son, also laughed. It was a wry, honest laugh.

The prince turned a bit red in the face. But the pressure he had felt in his heart had shattered. With a smile, he shyly admitted, "Yes, you are right father." With a sigh, and a wrinkled brow, he admitted, "I must learn to be less serious."

"Yes," his father said with a peel of belly laughter, "You must! Or your pretty wife will never forgive you!"

They laughed more, and with that, walked out into the sunlight of the morning.
 
Last edited:

Ashantai

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Great writing and start so far. :)
 

PeterCorless

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2. The Melancholy Heir (1451-1460)

State of the State, 1460

Although there was the first change of succession and the first war in the game, the period of 1450-1460 resulted in little change within Ceylon.

  • King: Jayabahu Kotteid (2-2-2, General: 1-1-3; age 52; born 1408, inaugurated 2 Jan 1452)
  • Heir: Bhuvanaikabahu Kotteid (3-3-4, General: 0-1-3; age 28; born 1432)
  • Advisor: None (Bhuvanaikabahu Jayawardene dies in 1460; insufficient funds to replace him)
  • Power: 4-4-4
  • Technology: 2-2-2
  • Treasury: 17
  • Manpower: 10,820
  • Stability: +3
  • Prestige: +26
  • Legitimacy: 90
  • Rank: 103

Foreign Affairs

During this period, Ceylon added a new diplomatic relationship, and simply improved relations with other countries.

  • Relations: 3/4
  • Reputation: +2
  • Shan: +181, Alliance, Royal Marriage, Military Access, Guaranteeing
  • Ayutthaya: +173, Alliance, Royal Marriage, Military Access, Guaranteeing
  • Pegu: +119, Military Access
  • Lan Na*: +112
  • Tibet*: +58
* Asterisk indicates where diplomats were presently stationed improving relations.

Military

No changes.

Economy

Our income dropped -0.15 during the decade. I can only ponder this was due to all of the civil wars and rebellions lowering the general values of the trade zone. However, we were "fortunate" in a way, to have lost our advisor, which trimmed expenses -0.95. That put the balance of accounts solidly in the black, after nearly 15 years of running thread-bare profits. With a positive balance of nearly a gold per month, the nation was quickly amassing wealth.

On 10 Aug 1460, this was our economy:

  • Income: 1.59 (-0.15)
    • Taxation: 0.46
    • Production: 0.38
    • Trade: 0.74
  • Expenses: 0.74 (-0.95)
    • Advisors: 0.00
    • Army Maintenance: 0.33 (0%)
    • Fleet Maintenance: 0.41 (100%)
  • Balance: +0.85
  • Treasury: 17.33

  • Trade Efficiency: 1.0%
  • Trade Range: 200
  • Trade Steering: +25.5% (up from +16.5%)
  • Trade Income: +1%
  • Mercantilism: +10%

Trade Zones
  • Ceylon:
    • 1450: Income: 0.96, Trade Power: 21.6, Value: 6.22
    • 1460: Income: 0.77, Trade Power: 22.3, Value: 4.84
    • Difference: Income: -0.19, Trade Power: +0.7, Value: -1.38
    • we remained #3 in trade power behind Vijayanagar and Gujarat
  • Bengal:
    • 1450: Income: 0.27, Trade Power: 8.3, Value: 5.74
    • 1460: Income: 0.77, Trade Power: 8.5, Value: 5.83
    • Difference: Income: +0.50, Trade Power: +0.2, Value: -0.09
    • by 1460 we rose from #10 to #8 in trade power in this node

Standing in the World

Our nation's prestige had remained about the same, degrading slowly over time (+28 to +26), and our stability had remained high (+3), but our rank in the world dropped further. We had been rated 20th at the game's beginning. By 1450, we were 67th. Now, we had gone down another 36 places, to 103rd.

Score & Ranking, 1450 - 1460

  • Score: 0 (+0/month)
  • Rank: -36; down from 67th to 103rd
  • Administrative: -9; from 16th to 25th
  • Diplomatic: +3; up from 76th to 73rd
  • Military: +9; up from 205th to 196th

ceylon-1460.png


The Melancholy Heir

On 2 January 1452 King Parakramabahu VII Kotteid died before the dawn after a reign of 44 years. Because of his pacifism and placidity, many within his own kingdom, and others abroad thereafter would call him "the Cautious." His son, now king, was finally free to pursue his own path. Quite different from his gregarious and mystical father, Jayabahu went about his work often in sober quietness. For this, he was regarded as "the Silent."

His own son, Bhuvanikabahu, had grown up by the feet of his grandfather. Whereas Jayabahu had always been a bit reserved in listening to his father's visions, and was skeptical of the favorable interpretations given by his royal oracles, Bhuvanikabahu had been fascinated with the stories. He was swept up in the dream of one day becoming the leader of a great nation. He believed passionately in what was possible. And he did not seem at all afraid because of how much his grandfather taught him about enlightenment and the afterlife. The old king would say, "In you I have planted the seeds of wisdom, the bija, my grandson." It was true that he took better to citta, the "liberated mind" state that Buddha's teaching preached. For himself, Jayabahu was full of thought, weighted down. Far from being empty, as the priests would chide him it should be.

In many of the courtiers' opinions, the son was more gifted than his father. Especially in his avid studies of military matters. "However, for all the stories of kingdoms that rise and fall you read, you are not a very good shot at the bow, and, because of that, you seem to ignore the archers amongst your ranks." Bhuvanikabahu admitted this was a true failing on his part, for he had little skill commanding his archers. But he recognized the value of the different types of troops that could comprise a great army. "One day, father, I shall command archers, and cavalry, and, if I live long enough, I shall build cannon in our nation."

This caused his father's famously wrinkled brow to crease even deeper. "Be careful of this fascination for war. Speaking of it so eagerly is easy for you, who are young. Maybe your wish will be granted one day. Just be careful of the wishes you make, my son."

Wars of Narapati Ava

The king had good reason to worry. Across the sea, the war was going badly for his ally, Narapati Ava, the King of Shan. There were two wars -- one against the Bengalis and one against the Ming. Both were going poorly. Not long thereafter, the Ming conquered the nation of Lan Xang, ending the Shan's campaign in the east. But both Shan and Bengal were so exhausted from their war that their conflict ended without firm resolution. Kyaukse, Sagaing, and the captial Hsenwi were returned to the Shan, while the Bengals gained Silhet and Dacca back.

"Then what was all the bloodshed for?" the stoic king asked his son. "You see? This is the other side of war. Destruction, but for no gain. Avoid such costly wars if you can. They bring nothing but widows and debts."

The war had not ended even a year when the bellicose King of Shan once again declared war. On 21 Jan 1453, word reached the court of more bloodshed. This time, the target was the coastal Sultanate of Arakan. But because Arakan stood between Shan and the sea, and the Bengali were loathe to allow any Shan emissaries pass through their land, it took time for word of the conflict to reach them.

The sea traders of the Ganges Delta heard of the outbreak of war, and warned the king that their trade might be endangered by it. The expectation was that Shan needed the Kingdom of Kotte to help bottle up their enemies in port. There had been no plan, though. Ships at sea were presently at risk.

"He is so reckless with the lives of his own people! But now he wants to be reckless with our people too?" King Jayabahu allowed himself a rare moment of speaking his deeply-held opinions aloud.

"Yet I can understand why he fights so ruthlessly, father," Prince Bhuvanaikabahu mused, "It is because of his faith. The Muslims have vowed to change this land as they have so many others, forcing us to adopt their ways. Do you want us all to end up bowing to Mecca? Do you wish to see the statues of our beloved saints and buddhas smashed? Narapati Ava, though you may judge him badly, is a very pious man. He will not allow it. And if he can oust Khayhi Mrauk-U from his throne, should we not be pleased?"

As he often did when he was consternated, the King rubbed his nose vigorously with the palm of his hand and squeezed his eyes shut. His son was right. But it is just sometimes difficult to hear such truth spoken.

The prince was not finished. "And..." here the son paused lengthily, "Did your venerable father, my revered grandfather, not solemnly pledge our nation in alliance to theirs? What would happen to the value of your own word, as a king, if you failed to respond to them now?"

It was true. Regardless of what the king wanted, the karma of father's alliance with the King of Shan bound them together.

Silence stood between father and son for a long while. At last, the pragmatic thoughts of the king spurred him forward.

"We do not have enough boats for the army. We shall have to send them over in three groups. We must be sure not to land where the enemy is strong, for we would surely lose all of our men if they were attacked before they could form into a group."

They had no allied ports to land in. They had no knowledge of what they would find upon landing. The King did not rush into war. First, he made sure that the Shah had no strong allies who would come to his aid in this war. Fortunately he did not. From what his emissaries could gather, it would be Shan, Ceylon, and Taungu against the Shah of Arakan.

"We shall let our navy keep the seas swept of any enemies. I was not prepared to go to war. After such years of lean, it shall take time to make these men into proper soldiers."

Months passed as he trained and practiced the men. Long underpaid and underutilized compared to his seamen, he also took to raise their salaries. Rather than go into debt, a special tax was levied to pay for the war. The people would support this, so long as the war did not last long or end in debacle.

By midsummer they were ready. He himself led the regiment of a thousand men. Strangely, they found their landing unopposed. The war had been going on for some time. Much of the fighting had occurred around Chin. They ventured inland to see for themselves, and found the city occupied by a garrison of Muslims. Though they could have stayed to besiege it, they had no idea where the Muslim Shah was. If he came out of the jungle suddenly, which could happen on any day, they could be destroyed. Besides, a new regiment was scheduled to land by January of 1454.

So instead of investing the city of Chin, both the inland regiment and the newly-landed regiment gathered with their allies at the siege of Akyab along the coast. United, they were an army of 6,000, a third of which was Sinhala. From what scouts reported, the Shah still had a few thousand men in his army, but they were stationed up the Irrawaddy near Kyaukse.

The siege lasted for months, during which Kyaukse also fell to the Shah. The Muslims stationed a few hundred men as a garrison, and moved on in triumph to Toungoo. Now came a crisis. If this city fell, then one of the allies of the war could face their absorption into the Nation of Islam. Tarabya Taunga was near panic. His family, his kin, even his son and heir were now under siege. He was a fool of a king, and had been talked into war easily by the charismatic Narapati. But now, Narapati, King of the Shan, refused to go help relieve Toungoo. Indeed, he seemed to also be callous of the loss of both Chin and Akyab. He was fixated solely upon taking the Shah's capital. No matter the cost.

This had caused the war, so far, to go terribly badly. But with the arrival of the Sinhala of Kotte, now the strength of the alliance was playing out as the war went forward.

The arrival of the Sinhala under King Jayabahu seemed to change everything. Though he was still his usual stoic, skeptical self, he brought with him sufficient ships to bottle up the Muslims. Though the Burmese troops were somewhat shaken after many long wars, they seem relieved there were new, fresh troops that had arrived. Taking credit for his good fortune, Narapati Ava bragged that he could go wipe out the Shah whenever he wished. He was just suffering him to live for now. All through the spring, and into the summer, the sieges continued.

Cut off from the fields of rice, and even from the fish of the sea, finally on August 6, the Muslim capital surrendered. King Jayabahu had remained somewhat distant from his proud ally. All he said when the city fell was, "Good, now you can end this war."

But the proud King of the Shan did not do so. For whatever reason, even though he had done what he had set forth to do, he refused to simply end it. Instead, even as the Sinhala of the Kingdom of Kotte were preparing to leave on their ships, he decamped his 3,000 men, along with the 1,000 men of the anxious King Tarabya, and marched off to, at long last, relieve the city of Toungoo. When the two kings went their separate ways, Jayabahu had thought there would have been a swift end to the hostilities -- a surrender within a matter of days. He little realized the war would stretch out for another year.

Before the city of Toungoo, in the rain-sodden fields of autumn, a turn of events would cause the war to be prolonged. Even though the allies faced a force half their size, they were wretchedly defeated by the skillful Shah and his Muslim bands. Perhaps too overconfident when they arrived that morning for battle, after facing a skillful foe the length of the day, the Burmese army panicked and broke. The only silver lining to it was that the battle had so devastated the Shah's forces he had too few men left to keep up his investment of the city. Toungoo was saved. But the war dragged on.

King Jayabahu simply shook his head. He had remained in Akyab, acting as a military governor over Arakan until the war was formally over. Slowly, he withdrew his troops by boat to home. By the winter (17 Dec 1454), they were all back on their island. They were safe from further insanity. At least, for the present.

For during the war, agents of the coastal states of Kochin and Venad has been making attempts to ally themselves with some of the noble Sinhala families who had been defeated during the wars of unification of their island nation. If one of them happened to side with an invading army against the Kings of Kotte, then perhaps they could be made governor of the province. Under their new foreign king, of course.

Though there were troubling rumors, nothing more happened during the course of the war, which dragged on until 1456, when it promptly unraveled. Though there was some exhange of monies and the cancellation of a treaty between Arakan and Bengal, the war ended like the Bengali affair, with pretty much the status quo ante maintained. The Shah's lands of Arakan remained Muslim, and he himself remained in power. It disgusted the King of Kotte, but what could he do?

The Sickness of Vijayanagar

Also during the war in Arakan, a Peasants War broke out across Vijayanagar. There were now too many different peoples, with different languages, different skin colors. Tamil and Kannada of the south, and the newly-added Marathi of the north. The different tribes chafed at the Raja's rule. But mostly, it was the poor of all races who resented being forced to accept harsh taxes of whatever little they owned by the feudal upper castes. In January 1454, it boiled over into open revolt. By January 1455, they had taken control of Raichar Doab. By July, they had taken the capital of Vijayanagara itself, and had moved on to siege Seringapatanam in Mysore and Gingee in Carnatic.

That's when a nationalist rebellion erupted in the northwestern states, still unsettled after their forced annexation. One of the nationalists even assassinated the Raja. His death, on 27 July 1456, caused further disastrous undermining of the government. His successor, Mallikarjuna Sangama, was nowhere near as talented an administrator. He knew little, if anything, about war. Which is what his country needed most of all at present. Many of the powerful and wealthy simply took a backseat and let the country devolve, hoping to carve out their own principalities when the fighting was settled.

The nation, feared so much a decade before, was now wracked by the disease of war. By October 1456, nearly all of the country was in the hands of the peasants, nationalist rebels, or was presently under siege. In March 1457, some seafarers traveling along the Malabar coast decided to ply their wares to the bands of roving peasants along the coast. They were wealthy, though most of it was taken as loot from ravaged palaces. From what they gathered, there were three different bands of peasants operating in Kanara state alone. One group had about 1,700 peasants. Another, about 4,800. The last one had over 5,000 men under arms, including horsemen. In total, over 11,000 troops were pillaging the towns around Bhatkal, and waiting for its loyal governor to finally surrender himself.

King Jayabahu marveled at how such simple people, low-born on the wheel of Kharma, could turn the tide so swiftly against centuries of noble tradition. The Raja was eventually humbled. By 8 July 1457 he submitted to the demands of the peasantry. That rebellion was over, for now.

Yet what was even more impressive was how, later that year, on 12 Dec 1457, the Sinhala trading fleets encountered the other continuing rebellion: the Marathi rebels who had taken Desh, Malvana and Marathwada. It turns out that these rebels numbered somewhere more than 22,000. There were so many of them, in fact, that they were dying of starvation at the siege of Thana in North Konkan. Because they were not Tamils, the local rebels relented and begrudgingly traded with the Sinhala sailors.

More grief also piled on to the misbegotten Raja of Vijayanagar. Besides rebels, two groups of foreign invaders flooded over his borders. The first was an alliance of Bamanis, Malwa, Gondwana, and Bundelkhand. The second invasion was the rising alliance of Orissa and Garjat.

To top it off, the Tamils of Madurai also rose in rebellion. Through April to June of 1459, they occupied all parts of the south. While Carnatic once again fell, this time to revolutionaries who wanted to elevate the country from the hell it was mired in.

Meanwhile, through all the civil wars and insurrections, Bamanis had found itself split in three. The northern half became Nagpur. The southeastern quarter had liberated itself under the new Raja of Golkonda. The once-proud state of the Bahmanis was reduced to the single province of Bidar.

Another peasant revolt, perhaps emboldened by what was occurring in Vijayanagar, had also broken out in Venad. This put to rest, for now, any possibility of them mounting an invasion of Ceylon. The King of Kotte watched all of this, and remained silent and patient, praying that his own nation would remain apart from all of this carnage.

By the end of the next year, 1460, Raja Pratap Singh I Sindhia of the Marathi declared himself independent of the rapidly devolving Vijayanajar nation.

Most surprisingly, the foreign invasions were utterly checked by the huge quantities of revolutionaries roving the countryside. Tens of thousands of Revolutionaries and Madurai nationalists hammered anything that smacked of a centralized government, whether it was foreign or domestic.

Second Shan-Bengali War

Also, by 1460, war had again broken out between Shan and its allies Pegu and Taunga, and the Bengalis. During the unproductive Arakan war started by Naraputi Ava, Bengal did not enjoy any peace. It had been invaded by Orissa, Garjat, Nepal and Kachar, and also suffered its own internal rebellions during 1454.

Thus, this time the Shan-Bengal War of 1460 was proceeding entirely differently. Shan, now nearly fully recovered, had amassed an allied army of over 16,000 troops in the river delta. They had taken Chittagong and Silhet, and were poised to take Dacca next.

The small monarchy of Koch even made its own opportunistic invasion to conquer Dacca. Though since it was already invested and would soon be in the hands of Naraputi Ava, what the Raja of Koch was thinking when he marched his troops over the border is anyone's guess.

Lastly, in Arakan, the local people seemed to be bent on accomplishing what the King of Shan failed to do with his invasion. Buddhist natives, about 8,000, had risen like a flood to besiege the capital. This time there was no resistance for the Shah, who retreated into his capital to hopefully wait out the assembled zealots.

A National Epic is Begun, a National Institution is Swept Aside

To commemorate all of these great and terrible events, on 28 June 1455, a national epic was commissioned. For the next decade, Buddhist scribes would dutifully make a history of both past and new events entitled, "The First Great Wheel of Karmic Fate in Honor of the Kings and Princes of Kotte." Given the title, it was obvious to everyone this was the prince's idea to begin with.

During this whole period, it was said that the king laughed seldom, and grew increasingly stoic. He was no longer sad. Nor, after having proven himself leading his army in war, could anyone accuse him of cowardice. But he simply seemed more and more detached. Quieter. Thus, it became the prince, and the ever-present advisor, Bhuvanaikabahu Kalpage, who dominated the court. In the final days of 1460, though, the unthinkable happened.

Bhuvanaikabahu Kalpage died. Some say it was from over-working himself. Others simply say he had a frail heart. Yet now, after nearly half the reign of Parakramabahu VII and the entire reign of Jayabahu, the nation was without a chief minister.

The king did not shed tears for the loss of this man. Indeed, King Jayabahu lost no time and promptly dismissed the rest of his highly-paid bureaucrats.

"The people will be taxed less. We shall have more to pay soldiers in war, and more money to invest in our fleet and our people. Though it shall prevent us from enacting some of the reforms of the economy he had planned, I cannot see anything but good coming out of this."

His son, the crown prince, hoped that this would prove to be true.
 
Last edited:

Ashantai

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Very well written! I get a real sense of the history you have made.
 

PeterCorless

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3. Strange Entanglements (1461-1470)

State of the State, 1470

The nation lost its first heir and now faced a possible regency if the aging king were to pass on. Not having an adult son to share the burdens of managing the state, the king was forced to hire a chief administrator, which helped maintain the nation's good standing in the world.

  • King: Jayabahu Kotteid (2-2-2, General: 1-1-3; age 62; born 1408, inaugurated 2 Jan 1452)
  • Heir: Parakramabahu Kotteid (2-1-3; age 4, born 1466)
  • Advisor: Vimala Dharmasuriya Chandana (Admin +1, Yearly Prestige +2.00)
  • Power: 5-2-4 (+1 Adm, -2 Dip)
  • Technology: 3-3-3 (+1 to each)
  • Treasury: 59
  • Manpower: 10,820
  • Stability: +3
  • Prestige: +31
  • Legitimacy: 100
  • Rank: 115th

Foreign Affairs

During this period, the king became enamored with foreign affairs, and imprudently ended up making too many treaties, which led to unforeseen consequences for many years to come. (I hadn't even noticed that there was a very strict limit to how many diplomatic connections you could have. This really hammered me in diplomatic points early in the game. Who would have known that asking Pegu and Tibet for military access would destroy your naval development?)

  • Relations: 6/4
  • Reputation: +2
  • Lan Na: +173, Royal Marriage, Alliance
  • Orissa: +148, Royal Marriage, Alliance
  • Shan: +143, Alliance, Royal Marriage, Military Access, Guaranteeing
  • Ayutthaya: +93, Royal Marriage, Military Access, Guaranteeing
  • Pegu: +76, Military Access
  • Tibet: +61, Military Access

Military

No changes.

Economy

On 16 Feb 1470, this was our economy:

  • Income: 2.39 (+0.80)
    • Taxation: 0.43
    • Production: 0.48
    • Trade: 1.46
  • Expenses: 1.92 (+1.18)
    • Advisors: 1.13
    • Army Maintenance: 0.34 (0%)
    • Fleet Maintenance: 0.44 (100%)
  • Balance: +0.46
  • Treasury: 59.63

While our balance was not quite so positive, the trade income was up significantly, which meant that we were earning a fair decent amount of money per month. The treasury was filling up nicely, but we still did not have much to spend it on.

  • Trade Efficiency: 1.0%
  • Trade Range: 200
  • Trade Steering: +26.9% (up 1.4%, from +25.5%)
  • Trade Income: +10.0% (up from +1.0%)
  • Mercantilism: +10.0%

Trade Zones

  • Ceylon:
    • 1460: Income: 0.77, Trade Power: 22.3, Value: 4.84
    • 1470: Income: 1.48, Trade Power: 23.4, Value: 7.19
    • Difference: Income: +0.71, Trade Power: +1.1, Value: +2.35
    • we rose to #1 in trade power, up from #3.
  • Bengal:
    • 1460: Income: 0.77, Trade Power: 8.5, Value: 5.83
    • 1470: Income: 0.42, Trade Power: 9.0, Value: 7.40
    • Difference: Income: -0.35, Trade Power: +0.5, Value: +1.57
    • we rose from #8 to #6 in trade power in this node, but income was sharply off

Standing in the World

Our nation's prestige rose slowly over time (+31, up from +26), and our stability remained high (+3), but our rank in the world continued to drop. We were now 115th in the world. Looking at the factors of game standing, though, we were moving in the right direction. We rose in all three categories. Especially in diplomatic standing. So losing the monarch points through too many diplomatic connections was somewhat offset in how the game factored that into world standing.

  • Score: 0 (+0/month)
  • Rank: -12; down from 103rd to 115th
  • Administrative: +2; from 25th to 23rd
  • Diplomatic: +42; up from 73rd to 31st
  • Military: +16; up from 196th to 180th

ceylon-1465.png


Strange Entanglements

August 1461: The Boy Raja

One balmy summer afternoon, a fisherman was casting his nets on the open waters of the Gulf of Mannar when he spotted a long boat carrying what seemed to him were royalty. As his boat rose and fell on the waves, he could make out a banner flying proudly from the stern of the sailing vessel. He scratched his head, because he had never seen its like before. Well, the boat was a typical two-master, but the flag? That was new. It wasn't the sun, moon, and boar of the Vijayanagara Empire. It was black, red, and gold, with a hand holding a torch aloft. He scratched his stubbly chin.

As the ship was slowly sailing by, he called out to its crew, and they hailed him in reply. "Where do you come from? Perhaps from far away, for I have never seen your flag on these waters before!"

This caused an uproar amongst the sailors, who laughed and clapped their hands.

"We are your long-time neighbors! For we have not sailed far. It is Madurai we hail from! Do you see our captain?" the sailors pointed towards the gallant dark-skinned monument of a man standing near the stern, with elbows flared out, his gloved fists resting boldly on his hips. "He is here to tell your king the good news! For Madurai is now free!"

So it was true. The rebels were triumphant.

On August 9 1461, after years of battle and bloodshed, the Kingdom of Madurai unilaterally declared its independence from the Vijayanagar Empire. The states of Madurai, Kongu and Coromandel were now free from their overlords. This was the embassy sent from their new Raja, Muttu Virappa I Sethupathy. An incredibly talented boy warrior, he became a hero during the uprising, and now, at the age of 19, was king of the independent nation. He was renown for his warrior-like nature, but even moreso, for his great skills at diplomacy. However, though he was well-suited for war, it turned out that such a boy-king was unsuited for the ruling of a peaceful nation.


  • Muttu Virappa I Sethupathy: 0-5-4

He was one of two great generals that emerged during the civil war. The other, Sadayavarman Kulesekara, his ally during war, and now his rival during peace, was to be his heir should something terrible befall the new Raja. For the young warrior was yet unmarried and had no heir of his own lineage.

What the fisherman did not know, and what the emissaries of the new nation did not reveal to him, was that Vijayanagar beyond Madurai remained wracked by war. Orissa continued to press its claims of conquest, holding Rayalseema, Kanara and Desh, while the entire rest of the nation was occupied by the revolutionary government. The Raja Mallikarjuna Sangama was in exile, hoping to somehow restore himself to power once the lower castes were proven to be incapable of ruling a nation.

As the fisherman watched the elegant ship sail by, bobbing in his small boat on the mild wake, he could not help but wonder at whether this was all good news, as the Madurai spoke, or whether there were any reasons to be concerned. But, once the stern of the vessel had slipped past towards the shore, he simply shrugged, turned, faced the waters and cast his net again.

Autumn 1461

Another matter that occupied the fisherman's mind later that year was a discussion he heard at the shipyard. It seemed appropriate, now considering the wars overseas. One day, he overhead the boatwrights talking with a trader. Apparently there was a new type of ship the trader had seen in the western seas. He had brought drawings of such a ship back with him. It could carry four times the cannon of their patrol ships. "So what?" the head boatwright scoffed. "This design, yes, is superior to anything we have ever made here on the island. It would be magnificent to see one built. We even have the money to build one, for our king is rich. But... we need more trained sailors. We would need to forge forty cannon, or strip them off our other ships. And the king has no more sailors or cannon to spare."


  • 5 Sep 1461: Achieved Diplomatic Tech 3! (Unlocks Early Carrack)

A few months later, in November, this same fisherman, who we shall finally reveal is named Geethan, was pulling up his boat along the sands when another ship arrived from across the sea. This was a vessel flying the sacred bull flag of the Sinhala. Aboard her was no less than the Royal Ambassador Jayabahu Pushpakumara, who seemed overjoyed.

"What news do you bring from afar?" the fisherman asked.

"Good news! Lan Na is now our ally! We have a treaty to aid them if they need. And they shall aid us if we need."

This surprised the fisherman. He stood and thought for a while.

"Lan Na. It has no ports, does it? No coast?"

"Yes, this is true. They are inland, like the Shan."

"Then," asked the fisherman, "If we ever require these so-called allies, how would they ever reach us in our time of need?"

No matter the weight of truth, for a fisherman of low caste, it is never good to embarrass a Royal Ambassador. The scowling ambassador, who had been so pleased and proud with his work in far away courts, stalked off. His retainers all gave terrible glances at the fisherman and followed the ambassador up the street towards the center of town.

1462: The Reincarnation of Vijayanagar

Bhuvanaikabahu Kalpage was a busy and powerful man. As the Royal Trader responsible for all shipments east of Kotte, he had brought great fortune to the nation. But he was not satisfied. He cursed under his breath, "Gujarati! Gujarati! They always steal my shipments!"

A nervous looking clerk stood beside him. He was so insignificant that Kalpage did not even know his name. "What is it that you want?"

"Yes, I mean, sir, I have..."

"OUT WITH IT!"

After a few more sputtering attempts, the clerk finally was able to make clear what he knew.

"So you see, sir, the revolt in Vijayanagar is over. As is the war with Orissa! You can now trade again in the ports of Kanara."

On 24 June 1462, the Raja Mallikarjuna Sangama made his final act of state. Exiled from his own nation by rebels, he had been captured by the Raja of Orissa, the mighty general Kapilendra, and was held their prisoner. But for all Kapilendra's talent, he had been set back over-and-over again by the revolutionary armies. He would capture a city, and they would take it back. Having proven to be even more powerful than the Raja of Orissa, they refused to negotiate a surrender. So this is where the captive Mallikarjuna would be useful. He signed a treaty with Orissa in the city of Pulicat, rescinding any claim Vijayanagar had on the province of Tondainadu. He paid his ransom with the national treasury, which he had surreptitiously obsconded with during his exile.

Though this brought peace with Orissa without requiring the loss of any territory, it enraged the people of Vijayanagar, from one side of the nation to the other. Rather than be welcomed home as a peace-maker, he was caught by a mob and put in jail once more. On 1 July 1462, a new Raja declared himself ruler over Vijayanagar: Markandeya I Nayaka. He was a very able ruler and popular with the people. For the first time in years, the nation seemed to be back on a firm footing. The head of Mallikarjuna Sangama was placed outside the palace of Vijayanagara as a reminder to all of what it meant to betray the trust of one's own people.

What this meant to Bhuvanaikabahu Kalpage was obvious. He clapped his hands and laughed. "Now that there is peace, trade with Vijayanagar can resume! Plus, with the loss of Madurai, all their trade must now come through the ports of Kanada, especially Bhatkal..."

The clerk, finally seeing that his point was being understood, prompted his employer, "Is that not where you have your factors, sir?"

"Exactly!" Kalpage paused and did a double-take. He squinted closely at this young man, which practically caused him to faint.

"What is your name?"

"R-Ranuga, sir!"

Kalpage nodded slowly. "Pack your bags, Rah-ranuga. I am sending you to Bhatkal. With trade re-established, I want to make sure we put in our best bid on the saffron that will once again be flowing. And after that, I have an old friend I want you to visit in the mountains near Seringapatanam. The iron of Mysore needs to be brought here for new swords. Yes. I would rather that iron come to this island, than end up in the hands of those blasted Gujarati Muslims."

So it was settled. Ranuga would take the first ship leaving for the Coast of Malabar. "What will I tell my wife?" Ranuga pondered.

"That you are not an idiot," Kalpage observed. "Like my other clerks!" As he strode through the room with Ranuga, he took the time to not-so-gently slap the back of one scribe's head with his hand. "Stop napping! No. I do not care how hot it is outside. I do not pay you to nap!"


Also in 1462:

  • 21 Feb 1462: Military Tech Level 3 (unlocks Earth Rampart)

1463: The Philosophy of Dharmasuriya

"My king, you have hired me to administer your nation, but your problems are not to be found on your blessed island."

King Jayabahu was not sure what his new administrator meant. He had been talked into accepting a new chief administrator by his son, who had surprisingly gotten very sick in the heat of summer. "Promise me, father! Promise me that you will follow into the path of dharma that my beloved grandfather foresaw!"

So, the king had hired a chief administrator to help ease the mind of his ill son. But now his son was recovered, and it seemed that the administrator, whose name happened to be Vimala Dharmasuriya Chandana, was vexing his patience. He was apt to wax poetical rather than speak in plain terms.

"Apparently what Councilor Vimala is alluding to, father," prompted his son, "Is that we are now tied to too many other nations. Look -- we have royal marriages with the dynasties of Shan, Ayuthhaya, Lan Na, and even Orissa."

The king was impatient with this. Had he not been asked by his own father to seek to make blissful unions with his neighbors, rather than make war?

"This is good, is it not? For all of them, except for Orissa, will face regencies if their leaders pass on while so young. Would we not be poised to have great influence over these allies?"

"Yes, but... Father..."

"What your son is trying to say, your blessed majesty, is that by having so many alliances, even the needless ties to Tibet and to Pegu, you have burdened your state with foreign sycophants and schemers. Do you really expect to need access for your armies in these nations?"

The king began his lecture of how, during the war in Arakan, they had no safe place to land, which had required the risky and time-consuming naval landings directly in Arakan itself.

"Yes, yes, father... we know the story. But really? Pegu?"

"What's wrong with Pegu?"

"Tibet?"

"What's wrong with Tibet?"

The minister spoke with a thinly-veiled mockery in his tone, "My lord, the land of Tibet is ruled by the lamas. There is no way that you can get yet-another royal marriage with them, as they are, alas, celibate."

The king fumed. He need not be lectured about foreign affairs like this. And yet it was true that having so many diplomatic ties was taxing the attention of the court. There were jealousies and rivalries of his relatives. Those who sought to direct trade one way or another, or hoped to lure the King of Kotte into another needless war.

"In any regard," the king cut off further debate, "That is not your responsibility, minister!"

He stalked off. Jayabahu loathed that people saw his attempts to make peace between nations as a way to simply feed egos and cause argument. Walking alone through his palace halls, he murmured, "Lord Buddha, I think I need your wisdom in a different way than my father foresaw."

1465: Entering the Medieval Era

Malabar had declared war on Kochin in 1463 with hopes of a quick conquest. It had indeed defeated the despot's forces, and by July was besieging the capital. But surprisingly their warriors were surrounded and slaughtered one night. A pretender to the Kochin throne raised 3,000 men under his own banner. This was an inopportune time for the Malabar invasion. Their forces were scattered and forced to return home. The pretender had taken the city by October, but he could not immediately make peace with Raja Manveda of Malabar. Both men desired to rule over Kochin. Meanwhile, Raja Unni Rama Koil awaited to learn his fate in the prison of the rebels. He was useful while still alive, as a bargaining chip between the pretender and the Malabari raja.

By the middle of 1465, the matter was still not settled. It had become a topic of interest and discussion amongst the court, though, because of the Kochin schemes to one day invade and overthrow the Kingdom of Kotte.

King Jayabahu was not one to gossip about it, though. Which was why he was surprised when his chief advisor, Vimala Dharmasuriya Chandana, approached him one day. He wished to hold a formally-sponsored lecture to speak about the rebellions in Kochin, and those of the Maratha, Venad, Vijayanagar and Madurai. Plus those against the Bahmanis, who had now been wiped off the earth. Where their nation once stood there was now Golkonda and Nagpur.

He was very proud of his "History of the Recent Rebellions in the World."

The king answered perfunctorily. "If that is what you wish, so be it. I shall attend, to give it my formal blessing."

But the philosopher had another agenda. "You see, your majesty, I have a plan to make a secret service of your military. If need be, in the future, I believe we can use such an instrument of the state to help check your powerful enemies. Look at how Vijayanagara, Venad, and Kochin, all of who were poised to invade us at any moment, have now each in turn been humbled. It is all through the proper control of rebellion...."

Jayabahu narrowed his eyes. "You can't control a rebellion. You can begin one, but once you do, the demons take over. It cannot be stopped so easily. And, of course, by fomenting rebellion in other lands, you might bring this nation into a precipitous war."

"Yes, but..."

"But also, it is too expensive to even contemplate."

"But..."

"But it would also ruin all hopes for my destiny. Think what you are suggesting to pollute my karma with."

"But..."

"But nothing. I understand we have this capability. Yet it not one that I am willing to pursue. My father asked me to try to keep this nation out of ruinous wars. You are asking me to consider creating suffering in the world. Unleashing evils upon people that I do not even know. I cannot do that."

The tense silence lasted for many heartbeats. At last, the king turned away.

"I do, however, look forward to your lecture... It should be most interesting. And...." he spoke over his shoulder while walking towards his garden, "Next time, I expect you to tell me more about the iron shipments from Mysore."

  • 14 Aug 1465: Administrative Tech Level 3! (Production Efficiency +10%; May support rebels)
 
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PeterCorless

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4. Narapati Ava's Wars 1461-1470

This is a sidebar; but because Narapati Ava, King of Shan, is the closest ally of Ceylon, I wanted to share the events of his aggressive nation with readers.

By December 1461 Narapati Ava, King of Shan finished his second great war against Bengal. Silhet and Dacca were annexed. The Raja of Koch, who had declared war separately with the hope of luckily getting Dacca for himself, was nonplussed. He made peace with the Bengalis two weeks later.

Now free from threats to the west, King Narapati turned his gaze to the east. By the middle of 1462, the Great Punitive War was raging across China. Manchuria led a great coalition against the Emperor. It included Tibet, Korea, the noble King Trailokanat of Ayutthaya and Sukothai and his Khmer vassals, Lan Na and Da Viet. Separately the King of Shan, and his foolish lacky, the king of Taunga, had also plunged into war against the Ming.

By mid 1463 word also came that the Oirat Horde had entered China from the west, and was methodically reducing the great cities of the Empire. Faced with three separate wars, the Empire was rapidly crumbling.

On 10 Dec 1463, the Ming Empire submitted to the Manchurian Coalition. All the while, the King of Shan had made little progress of his own. The coalition members saw him as an opportunist. He always arrived a little too late to take a city, but was willing to brag about how great a general he was. After years of campaigning in China, he had little to show for it. So when the Ming offered peace, so they could focus on stopping the Oirat, the King of Shan accepted it too.

In March of 1465, he decided to again make war against Arakan. And, of course, the King of Toungou followed him faithfully to battle. By now it was clear that he was the vassal of the Shan. There was no pretense of true independence any more.

The campaign of this year was far more successful than his earlier war. Arakan had already risen in Buddhist revolts before, in 1457 and 1460, weakening the Muslim's hold over the province. Thus, the war came as an unsurprising and satisfying conclusion when, after a siege of nearly a year, the King of Shan also became King of Arakan on 8 June 1466.

Peace then uncharacteristically broke out across the land. For what seemed like the first time in a generation, the nation did not go to war for a few years. It was not until 1469 that the armies of Narapati Ava again crossed the borders of his realm. This time, he seized the cotton fields of Chittagong. The Bengali nation, which has been ravaged by peasant wars and by an invasion of the new Raja of Orissa, Purishottama Suryavamsi and his Nepali and Kachari allies, now found its one remaining isolated province occupied by the King of Shan. But now there was an impasse. The Orissi held one third of the nation. Their Nepalese allies another. And the King of Shan, the final third. Now the proud kings waited, seeing the poor Bengali squirm under their occupation. None of the proud kings wished to quickly end the war and go home. Instead, they tried to wait each other out, to see who might be able to take the whole of the nation when the other made peace.

In the end, the King of Shan proved more patient. On 28 December 1469, the Raja of Orissa took the Ganges Delta and made peace. Thus, on 7 June 1470, the King of Shan finished his third war against Bengal, by annexing the rest of the nation into his growing empire. His realm now stretched from Gauda to King Tung
 
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Note: Half-Way Through 1460s.

So far, I have only gotten through 1461-1465 in the narrative above. I shall add a second part to bring you 1466-1470, but I am facing the wrath of "tl;dr" as it is.

Edit: I've added an "Annex" for the rest of 1466-1470 below; maps for 1465 and 1470 also added now.
 
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3. Strange Entanglements (1461-1470), Annex I

Being the Continuation of "The First Great Wheel of Karmic Fate in Honor of the Kings and Princes of Kotte."

As all scholars know, the Royal Commission for the great epic, begun in 1455, ended a decade later. This is why the scrolls end at this date, of 1465. Yet I have taken upon myself to continue the work, in secret, and receiving no recompense or thanks for my work. For I have defiled myself in this life, breaking many of the one hundred and eight edicts that are meant to keep my soul pure, and I have at times drunk deeply of the Three Poisons, making a tea of the three unwholesome roots. By which I mean avidya (ignorance), attachment, and aversion.

I remained ignorant of what my king wished of me. I remained attached to what I thought was best for the kingdom. And I had an aversion to my blessed king, thinking him a lesser intellect than myself. In all of this, I was in the wrong. My name is Vimala Dharmasuriya Chandana, and I must cleanse these poisons from my ways if I am to achieve enlightenment. Thus, I shall write this annex in secret, and, perhaps one day, provide it to the king. By reading how I shall treat our nation's history with love, he shall see that truly my hope is to curtail dukkha, elevate our nation, and not continue the cycle of suffering of samsara. Yet enough of myself. As I write, it brings shame to me, but also feeds my ego to speak of myself. Let me presently continue the history of our nation.

1466: Fall of Arakan and Kochin, Death of a Great Prince
In June 1466 the King of Shan swallowed the Sheikdom of Arakan into his expanding empire. Likewise in this same month, the Regency Council of Ayutthaya took to incorporate the Khmer into their nation. However, with the death of their great king, Sukhothai took to declare itself no longer in union with Ayutthaya, and placed Sri Indraditya II on the throne. This provoked strong rebuke from the Regency Council, but they were in no position to act upon their outrage.

On 29 July 1466 the nation of Kochin was reduced to a province of Raja Manavikraman II of Malabar. The raja made his ancestors of the Saamoothiri proud by expanding his lands, while making his neighbors in Quilon anxious. Yes, by this I mean he seemed poised to likewise wish to forcibly marry his eager nation to the unwilling bride of Venad.

Elsewhere in the lands that I know of in this year, peasant revolts broke out in the north. In Bengal, over twenty thousand low-caste farmers took hold of all parts of the nation. The Sultan Nasir-us-Din Mahmud Ilyas Shahi had destroyed a Hindu temple held in reverence by the common people, and they, in turn, rose up against him. But though the cause of this was an insult to their religion, truly what had made the people infuriated heretofore was the taxes and imposition of islamic law on the people. It was their whole caste that he oppressed by this. Likewise, in Bihar, it is said that 8,000 peasants rose. While in Jaunpur itself, Raja Purushottama of Orissa besieged the city with 7,000 men. For the unlucky Raja Malik Qaranful I Sugauna, with an army less than half that size, was trying to take eastern Nepal. His decision to leave his nation to take over another one was ill-conceived. The peasants rose up, like in Bengal. But here their Raja was Hindu, like they were. That is why I say that these peasant rebellions are not due to religion. They are caused when low-castes are badly treated by despots.

To the west, Baluchistan had invaded Sind with a mighty army and washed over the Lower Sind. They took the mouth of the Indus River and the capital of Thatta from the Sultan Tughluq Samma, who is said to be so rude and undiplomatic that he embarrasses his own people. The Baluchi then reduced Marwar. The Gujarati, who had taken Khandesh the year before, watched jealously, as they have ancestral claims to Marwar as well.

For all of these worldly triumphs and griefs, in the Kingdom of Kotte, it all meant little because of our own sorrow. For on 12 September of this year, the noble son of our king, Bhuvanaikabahu Kotteid, passed on from this world. He was only 34 years of age, and would have been a great king.

It was now the prince's only son, Parakramabahu Kotteid, grandson of Jayabahu the Silent, who became the crown prince. Yet he was still a child barely past his first birthday. Even though he was too young to even speak, he seemed to understand in some way. The babe threw tantrums, wailing and biting the nurses. This boded poorly for the kingdom, and our heavy-hearted king seemed even more dour. Lord Jayabahu remained in mourning for two years.

Thus, though it was a triumph of diplomacy, it brought little joy when news came at the end of the next month when we found out that the mighty nation of Orissa had agreed to also be our ally. We now stood protected by a strong bulwalk of allies: Shan, Ayutthaya, Lan Na and Orissa. Furthermore, Orissa had offered generously to protect us in case any enemy declared war upon us. Unlike other landlocked allies, Orissa had a powerful fleet that could come to our aid at sea.

1467: Jaunpuri War Continues, Conquests of Vijayanagar Begin
The war between Jaunpur and Nepal continued, with Jaunpur and Assam looking to seize eastern Nepal, and Orissa and Garjat seeking to prevent this. But it was the peasant armies that had the most say. They caused the entire Jaunpuri army to desert and join their ranks, and they had occupied most of the nation. The army of Orissa found their time more productively used by heading eastward into the holy mountains, to take the fortresses of Assam. To do so, they had been forced to march through peasant-held territories in Jaunpur, rise up into the Nepalese mountains, and turn east along the ridges to besiege Darrang. This was a dangerous journey, for the Jaunpuri peasantry did not cease their plundering. Indeed, they even left their nation's borders and took Ghurka in Nepal in June.

In Vijayanagar, the Raja Markandeya I Nayaka was to have no peace. The Gujarati invaded from the north to seize the wealthy lands of Desh, and Madurai, in the south, had raised an army of 7,000 men and sought to take the even richer plain of Carnatic. Golkonda and Maratha were the Madurai allies in the ploy to take Carnatic. The Vijayanagar army was forced to fight on two fronts. In the south, they took to raid Kongu, hoping to reduce it to rubble, which they succeeded at by October. For its defense, it brought in its own allies, coastal Venad and inland Mewar.

The King of Shan was peaceful this year. From what I discovered from our emissary to his court, a secret alliance of Bengal, Assam, Koch and Kachar had plotted to make war on him together if he tried to broach any peace.

1468: Revocation of Orissa
In April of 1468, Jaunpur decided it had little more to gain, and Assam had much to lose, so made peace with Nepal and Orissa. Something about the peace, though, seemed wrong to our king. For part of their agreement to achieve peace involved the revocation of Orissa's guarantee to protect our island kingdom. Either that, or the king of Orissa decided to revoke his guarantee on his own, out of some fit of pique or imagined insult. My lord king took this hard. For though they remained our ally, and the royal families remained bound together by marriage, an unspoken rift opened between both thrones.

In May, Jaunpur belatedly made peace with the peasantry. Also that same month, West Berar, which had fallen in battle the prior year, was annexed by Gujarat, halving the state of Najpur.

Meanwhile, the wars in Vijayanagar continued. Mewar, the Vijayanagar ally, was reduced to self-preservation. The Sultan of Malwa had taken this opportunity to stab his neighbor in the back. His goal was to conquer Hadoti. But first, he ransacked Dundar. Poor Mewar, under the rule of a regency for Udai Singh II, only 10 years of age, was burning to the ground.

In February, the Madurai alliance had taken Carnatic and by July had gathered in the Vijayanagara north, at Bijapur. There, an army of nearly 19,000 encamped in the plains around the city. However, due to the heat and disease, more men were dying off from that from any other cause in the war. Vijayanagar, in its defense, had taken Kongu. Its small army of 2,000 men were now trying desperately to take Malvana on the Marathi coast.

Apart from this, Sind's Hindi population rose against their Muslim oppressors in Marwar province

1469: The Bounteous Year
While the wars in Vijayanagar raged, on our island all was at peace. No other year like it before, or, I think since, has ever produced such luscious crops. This was taken as a sign of Lord Buddha's blessings. Meanwhile, there was a different sort of bounty that I was seeking to harvest. I can speak of it now, though at the time it was a very great state secret. For in March 1468 the king had placed Bhuvanaikabahu Jayawardene in Corondel, Madurai. Jayabahu Pushpakumara had been at work in Venad even longer, having been sent there in September of 1467. Although they had spent their careers heretofore planning weddings and signing treaties of peace, now they had a different mission. The king hoped that no one would expect such underhandedness from them.

Yes, our lord king had changed greatly after the death of his son. Though he didn't always agree with Prince Bhuvanaikabahu, he had inwardly admired his son very greatly. He had hoped that his son would have indeed become the great king he had dreamed to be. Now he felt that his life-long reticence to go to war had robbed his son of his dreams.

And so it was that he decided to live the dreams his son had. That he would, at last, look for opportunities to make his nation great. "Besides," he told me one day, deep in his mourning, "I will never forget that day you two chastised me for having too many good relations. Now, you have only yourself to blame if we have a few bad ones, too."

The king still wanted no part in fomenting rebellion. "I wish to aim my arrows at kings, not lowborn men." Together, we planned the overthrow of neighboring kings.

So while the peasants of low caste celebrated the good harvest of fruit and of fish, I considered the other crop which had yet to yield its own bitter fruit. For in February of 1469, Jayawardene's intrigues were discovered. He was no longer welcome at the court, which set back his efforts, but he did not end them. Instead, he fled into the countryside to continue his work with the rural aristocracy. A similar incident occurred in June in Venad.

You must remember that both Venad and Madurai had their schemes at our island. At this time were both warring with Vijayanagar. And the war was turning in their favor. Kongu was taken back from Vijayanagar, and the allies had also seized Desh. So if they won, it would make Madurai all the more powerful, and Venad, their ally, all the less attractive to invade.

Finally, in September 1469, surprising news came to the court. Orissa had incorporated the states of Garjat and Jharkand into their nation. Our ally had grown to the size of Gujarat. Now, only the state of Nagjur kept the Hindu Raja and the Shiite Sultan apart.

1470: Madurai's Victory
Indeed, the war went as planned for Narasa I of the Pandya. The war ended in their favor at the end of 1470. Not only did the King of Madurai take Carnatic, he also took the iron mines of Mysore, while the Marathas took Desh.

Our hopes and fears were both quite high. For in January, we had made an agreement with a local Malayalam lord who had a deep loathing for the Venad Raja, Mootha Cheraman. Mootha's problem was that he was a horrible general, which had brought the death of the lord's two sons in the Vijayanagara war.

Likewise, we found similar sympathetic noble families in Coromandel. Especially a few Vijayanagar nobles who had survived the civil war. Seeing their nation torn apart by the Tamil, they turned to us to aid them in regaining their station in life, though we made no pretenses of returning them to their dying empire. Just a week before their old nation surrendered, they pledged to aid us overthrow the Tamil government.

To us, this issue was now a growing necessity and an unavoidable reality. For Venad still had their claim on our island. Their emboldened ally, Madurai, would only consolidate their power given time, and, once an opportunity presented itself, they would swarm over our nation and truly make us the "Last Island on Earth." Furthermore, the expansion of Malabar meant that they too would turn their attention in time on our nation.

So, while our king had hoped to avoid war during his life, now, he seemed bent on harvesting not one but two. Only, they needed to be wars that would be in our favor. Not our enemy's.


ceylon-1470.png
 
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Ashantai

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Impressive updates. The maps help a lot, and your writing is very nicely composed. :)
 

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5. Fateful Decision (1471-1474)

Saving the Best for Last

Because there will be surprises in this and future updates, I am going to save the summary of the "State of the State" until after the stories that lead up to it. That way, you may be surprised where we end up at the end of the decade, rather than knowing how the plot is going to end!

Fateful Decision

"Both?" Bhuvanaikabahu Jayawardene was stunned.

The king had spoken. He did not need to repeat himself.

Ambassador Jayawardene glanced at his fellow Ambassador, Jayabahu Pushpakumara for some form of verbal support. Yet instead of speaking, the latter slowly lowered his gaze to the ground, realizing the severity of this decision.

"But... How? Madurai alone has an army three times our size! Adding in Venad, and...."

The king cut him off. "Venad shall not be a problem. And, as for the army of Madurai," here King Jayabahu II of the Kingdom of Kotteid narrowed his eyes, "I have made arrangements for them."

Then a grim silence fell over the chamber. The king, known to all as "the Silent," had no more to say. And though he had many questions, Jayawardene swallowed them, along with the lump in his throat.

"You are both dismissed."

Once the door to the king's chamber was closed behind them by a stern guard, the two ambassadors walked half-way down the hall, turned through an arch with carved dancing figures, and walked out to the courtyard past another pair of guards before uttering a word.

It was Ambassador Pushpakumara who spoke first.

"If he says he has a plan, then I trust my king."

Jayawardene clapped his hands to his cheeks and groaned. He was much happier when he was making royal wedding arrangements. The thought of going to war with not just one, but two countries at once made his stomach churn and his head spin. "I may swoon."

"You are too fat. I cannot catch you if you fall."

Jayawardene shot his peer a narrowed glance and huffed.

"You know what we have been preparing for. This should not surprise you in the least. All of your carousing with the local philosophers and traders of Coromandel was not simply to try to make friends. It was to see if the people would welcome our rule there."

"Yes, though I do consider Seshayya Chetty a personal friend, even if he is Hindu. His published philosophy on reincarnation..."

"...is not of our concern at the present moment," Pushpakumara cut him off. "I am glad that you have made these friends. It was far more important to us to get Kattyama Kamaiya Nayak and Raghunatha Mudaliar on our side. Having a local political leader and military quartermaster sympathetic to our cause, even if we did not employ them, will help make our invasion of a province seem less onerous to the population."

With a cough, Jayawardene evasively agreed. "Well, yes."

Now it was Pushpakumara's turn to look concerned, "You did get their support, didn't you?

The wincing, pained expression on Jayawardene's face told the insightful Pushpakumara all he needed to know. "You never even brought it up with them, did you?"

Jayawardene's eyes widened and he exclaimed, "How was I going to tell them that we were planning on invading their own homeland?"

A trio of women in colorful saris bearing baskets of fruit suddenly froze in place in shock at such a statement.

"Do you mind keeping your voice a little lower? These are, for the next few days, still state secrets." He smiled at the women and said, "My friend is drunk."

The women giggled, covering their bright teeth with dark hands, and quickly continued on their way. Pushpakumara flushed embarrassedly, but said nothing until they were again out of earshot.

"No... I didn't bring it up. I... I am just hoping that they do not see my befriending them as some sort of treachery."

"They will. Especially now. If you had taken the time to gauge their sympathies, and see if they might be willing to aid us once a treaty is written out at the end of a war, as I have done with Ravi Ravi Vama Kurup, a Commandant of Venad who has a grudge against his king for the death of his two sons, then you would have done your job well. However, now your friends will see that all of your friendliness was a ploy."

"It wasn't a ploy! I..."

Pushpakumara reached out, uncharacteristically, and placed his palm on his fellow Ambassador's forearm. "I know, Bhuvanaikabahu." He sheathed his sharp wits to wield some human compassion, "You are truly a good man. You don't like war, and that is to your credit. You do want all of these people to like us, whether Hindu, Buddhist, or, yes, even Muslim."

Bhuvanaikabahu Jayawardene wagged his chin, unhappily, "It is true. Yet, we shall now be committing ourselves to war against Madurai and Venad both at once."

"And there is no way that you can have everyone love you if you make war upon them. And there is no way to avoid war with them. For we both know there are those in both countries who will do the same to our island if given the chance. Kochin, had they not fallen to Malabar, had claimed our land for their own. Venad claims our island even now. And yes, in your heart you know that Madurai, who is already far larger than us, is preparing to invade us. Only, they have been slower in their preparations than we were. So if we do not strike now, while we can, we shall become the Last Island on Earth. You know the prophesy."

Jayawardene shuddered, and shut his eyes, "If only our prince were still alive."

"But he is not. Only his widow and his son survives. But if you wish for a six-year-old boy to eventually have a kingdom to rule, we must do our jobs today. For our King Jayabahu. You may not love him as much as you loved his son, our departed prince, but he is not entirely untalented. You must trust him still. And that means we shall be returning, you to Madurai, and me to Venad, to complete our missions."

The next morning, both ambassadors boarded ships to take them over the sea.

War Against Madurai

The "court" of Raja Nasara of Madurai was a loose term. Since taking the title of Raja he had done well in spite of himself. He was a terrible commander in war. He was a feeble administrator. And he was wretchedly untactful. He declared Malabar and Vijayanagar his enemies, and scorned Orissa and Venad as rivals. The only ally he could call upon, possibly, was the Marathas, who both were bound together more out of a hatred of their former Vijayanagara overlords than by any common love.

  • Raja Nasara I Pandya: 1-0-1
Bhuvanaikabahu Jayawardene was at a disadvantage this morning. Since he had been sent directly to Coromandel to make connections with local supporters of the king's gambit, he had never been formally introduced at court, and thus, didn't know what the Raja of Madurai looked like, or where he might be found. He searched the palace to deliver his message, but could not find him anywhere. "Oh," one of his royal guards laxly commented, "You might find him drinking in town at this hour. Or asleep somewhere."

What that "somewhere" implied wasn't necessarily innocent. Bhuvanaikabahu wryly raised his eyebrows, "A man after my own heart."

After spending a few hours poking his nose into a few establishments and not finding the monarch, eventually he came upon a large crowd gathered in the street. A fistfight had broken out between a soldier and a drover, and people gathered around watching and cheering. Some were placing bets. An enthusiastic young man dressed in orange and black was taking the money and seemed to side with the soldier.

Jayawardene stood apart, waiting until the crowd disbursed. For presently, the way ahead was simply impassable. So he watched, trying to stand back to keep clear of any blows and avoid getting pulled into any explosive brawl, should one occur. What amazed him was that the soldiers were not breaking up the fight but were egging it on by proudly, enthusiastically cheering for their comrade. The drover had his supporters amongst the workers and low-born castes. And he was quite larger than the soldier too.

In the end, a meaty blow to the jaw sent the soldier spinning to the ground. His friends gathered around to pick him up. Meanwhile, the young man seemed taken aback. All of the bets he had taken were now due, and he was trying his best to pay out the people who had invested themselves in the drover. As he paid out each low-caste man, he insulted them, "Now you can afford to take a bath," to one. "Now you can afford to go buy some new clothes, but you'll never get rid of your ugly face," to another.

What a wretch, Jayawardene thought silently, pledging to avoid him if he could. He asked the guards they knew where the Raja may be.

The guards, already consternated their fellow lost the fight, costing them quite a bit of their pay, were surly to deal with. They replied like pigs, with snorts and grunts.

"I really do need to find him. Quite urgent business, you see."

An exasperated guard gestured over his shoulder, "He's standing right behind you!"

Yes. Of course. It had to be. They were referring to the man in orange and black, who was now cursing as he reached further into his own purse to pay out the last of the winners.

Once the bets were settled, the raja turned his attention to Jayawardene. "How much do I owe you, fat man?"

This rankled the ambassador, and finally gave him courage. "I did not come here to bet. I am here to speak to you, if you are indeed the raja."

Now, the man stood up more rigidly. He affected a heroic pose and declared, "Yes, it is I! Nasara Pandya, conqueror of the Vijyanagara, Raja of the Tamil. And who are you?"

Jayawardene could sense the guards paying increasing attention to the formal exchange, and less to their battered comrade.

"I am the voice of the King of Kotte, Jayabahu of the Sinhala, defender of the blessed isle," he replied steadily.

The raja did not seem impressed. "What would your heretic king wish of me?"

Jayawardene had inwardly debated how he was ever going to state this ever since his last audience with the king. But the scorn of the Pandya Raja was too much for tactfulness.

"Your Majesty, he wishes no less than for the province of Coromandel. For we have found that many of the ancient noble families there would prefer the rule of our king than remain your subjects."

The Pandya ruler scoffed outrightly, "You must be joking!"

Yet the ambassador was not, "Your Majesty, I came here today for you to consider this, to avoid more bloody civil war within your own nation. If you would give over these lands to my lord, the King of Kotteid, then there shall be peace. He shall rule over them kindly, allowing them to keep their Hindu traditions intact. Yet if you will not part from it by peace, he shall take it by force."

The guards spoke heatedly to each other, and the raja was sneering. Stalking around the street, he ranted at the ambassador.

"I am not going to give over Corormandel for your king or any other. Too many Tamil died to free Coromandel. But I think I know what you are speaking about."

He stopped at a street stall filled with baskets of fresh fruit, and picked up a pomegranate. "The roots of the Vijayanagar regime still poison my land. There are still nobles with the blood of Kannada that have yet to be exterminated. I have tried to let them live in peace. But not now. Now I shall have to root them out, like a gardener. I shall have to give the land a medicine, to cure it of the plague of Vijayanagara at last."

With that, he threw the pomegranate to the ground and smashed it with his foot, violently stomping it five times. Red juice and pulp sprayed out in all directions.

Though inwardly imagining that his head could be destroyed just as easily, Jayawardene steadied himself, "Is this your answer? Can there not be a way for peace?"

Nasara Panday stormed straight up to the ambassador, and, inches from his face, hissed, "Tell your miserable king that if he tries so much as to send a fishing boat across the straights, I shall destroy him, raze his kingdom to the ground, and make his Buddha weep!"

The soldiers cheered at their raja, and put their hands roughly on the ambassador.

"Besides," scoffed the Tamil raja, "Your army is pitiful. How in the world did you think you would get away with it?"

Silently, Jayawardene agreed. Yet he had to follow his King's orders explicitly, "Again, I must ask, can you not peacefully part with Coromandel? If you will not, it may lead to your nation's downfall."

The Raja set his hands on his hips, "Take him and throw him in the Vaigai!"

As the soldiers led the poor ambassador roughly to the river bank, a crowd began to gather and follow behind. Jeers and mockery surrounded him on all sides. The imperious raja strutted behind his men, waving at the crowd and barking orders to the soldiers.

They came to the river, which was quite beautiful. And cold. The ambassador was tossed in unceremoniously to the laughter of the crowd.

The Raja stood on a dock nearby and gazed down upon the sputtering Jayawardene. "Go back to your king, and let him know that I shall drench his men in blood if he tries to do what you did today. You may walk back to the sea now. Follow the river. And if I ever see you again, I shall kill you myself."

"Your Majesty, I regret to inform you that, by this answer, there shall be war. You may not believe it today, yet there was a prophesy. That by not agreeing to this peace, you have brought doom upon your nation. It shall be torn asunder for your pride."

The crowd gave out a collective boo, and some rocks were thrown at the ambassador's head.

The Raja raised his hands to silence the crowd, who eventually complied. "I am not afraid of any prophesy of your priests, because they have no power over me. There is a reason you Buddhists were driven off the land and needed to escape to your little island. No, it is not I who should quiver. Shiva will be your destroyer."

The crowd cheered. Jayawardene now suffered a buffeting volley of rocks and other detritus. He had to turn his back and raise his arms to keep from getting hit in the face. Guards came forward, lifted him out of the river and tossed him on the banks like a fish.

"Go now! While I am still half-minded to be merciful!"

Jayawardene managed to stagger down the river bank, bleeding from a number of cuts and bruises. It took him eight days to reach the river mouth. As he walked, he felt like an untouchable. He avoided speaking to people other than to pay for something to eat, and quietly kept to himself. "So much for a decorous declaration of war."

1471: Campaign for Madurai and Venad

Upon the return of Bhuvanaikabahu Jayawardene to Gampala, the declaration of war was made public to all. The reasoning behind it, the ill-treatment of the ambassador, and arrogance and corruption of the Tamil ruler were all proclaimed publicly by priests and politicians alike. The justification for the war was clear. The way for war was prepared.

While in Madurai, Nasara Pandya had dismissed the incident. He was trying to bewitch a pretty woman, who was begging off that she was already married, when a guard ran up to him and went to his knees, bowing low.

Idly displeased at the interruption, he turned half an eye to the guard, and said, "Yes? What report do you have?"

"Sir! News is that Raja Rurusbaottama of the Orissa has crossed our borders at the head of 11,000 men, and is moving on Carnatic."

"How dare he! What is the meaning of this?"

"It is said he supports the right of the Sinhala to the territory of Coromandel."

The married woman, apprehensive at the news, and at the sudden uncontained wroth of the Raja, used this opportunity to slip away quietly. The Raja took no notice of her any more. He paced furiously as he spoke.

"Then send for our ally the Maratha Pratap Singh!" Balling his fists in front of his face, he imagined his triumph to come, "Together we shall crush our foes!"

The messenger looked nervous. He said nothing.

The king need not even ask. He gradually realized the Marathi had abandoned him. Narasa Pandya remembered how he had insulted the Marathi ambassador at dinner the prior month by sitting him far at the end of the banquet table. Now, the importance of such diplomatic niceties came to have meaning to him. Only too late.

Thus, in January of 1471, the war began. The army of Orissa invested the provincial capital of Gingee on 22 January. In response, the Madurai army moved to Coromandel, to protect it.

Not long after the Madurai battalions departed their capital, the army of Ceylon landed on the coast before Madurai itself. First, one thousand, then two thousand, and then, all three thousand men were gathered around the city. It was barely enough to take the capital. The Pandya Raja was not particularly worried. But it brought the total troops that opposed him to 14,000, versus the 9,000 he could field.

Suddenly, though, the siege was raised from Madurai. Because the other ambassador's work was now complete. Jayabahu Pushpakumara had delivered the news: Venad had suddenly been declared war upon! But only by the King of Kotte. No allies were called into the conflict. The timing was crucial. Venad had supported Vijayanagar in the war against Madurai's expansion, and during that war had its forces crushed. This had weakened their army considerably, and they had only recently been able to field a new generation of young men, making their army a mere thousand strong.

While getting into a war while already in the middle of a war would seem madness, it was the strategem that King Jayabahu had been counting on. He had landed in the unfriendly territory of Madurai to marshal his forces. One regiment after the other. But all of this was practically a ploy to set Orissa upon the throat of Madurai. His main first goal was Venad. Now that his army was assembled ashore, it was time to strike. By 24 February, Raja Mootha's thousand troops had been scattered, and the city of Quilon was now under siege.

At least relieved his capital was safe, and somewhat puzzled at what was going on, the raja of Madurai set his forces to advance from Coromandel into Orissa, where he invested Pulicat in Tondainadu. His ships remained in port. Not so much due to the blockade of the Sinhala ships, but because not far beyond them lay the battle fleet of Orissa, ready to pounce.

The situation then fell into a long waiting period, as the ravages of hunger, disease and boredom plagued all the combatants. It took until the end of the year before any of the cities fell, and then they all fell in rapid succession. But first, once the fall of Quilon was a foregone conclusion, a regiment of Sinhala men was pulled away from the investment, and sent to Coromandel to protect some of the noble families that had pledged to support the rule of King Jayabahu. They reached Thanjuvur by 9 October. But they were insufficient in strength to effectively surround the city. They simply had to wait until something broke the current standoff.

The King of the Pandyas was the first to succeed. Tondainadu fell to him on 9 December. But he was uncertain what to do. If he tried to attack the thousand Sinhala at Coromandel, it was possible that the army of Orissa might move to intercept him. So he waited to see what would happen next.

On 16 December, Carnatic fell to the Raja of Orissa. Purushottama ignored the Madurai army, and moved his forces to join the Sinhala at Thanjuvur. The siege of the city now began in earnest. Behind them, the army of the Tamil Raja cleverly snuck back over the border into Carnatic as soon as all the troops of Orissa had moved on, leaving just a small garrison in the capital. The Tamil now hoped to free their city before another province fell to the invaders.

At last, Quilon fell on 18 December, and peace was settled by the outright annexation of Venad on 22 December. This freed up the last 2,000 men of the allied army, who moved to join the rest of the forces at Coromandel by the beginning of 1472.

1472: Madurai Campaign Continues

By 17 January, Coromandel came over to the allies. The combined force moved on Madurai's capital. But perhaps the move was too hasty.

The garrison in both Carnatic and Coromandel left behind by the allies was minimal. Thus, on 18 March, the city was liberated by the proud Raja Narasa. A week later, on 25 March, Coromandel was likewise liberated, dashing all of the gains the allies had made to date, and, with Madurai in possession of Tondainadu, he was ostensibly winning the conflict. But unable to directly assail the 14,000 troops in his capital, he turned again to strike further into Orissa.

On 8 April, he settled his forces around Masulipatnam in Kosta. Meanhile, the allies had lifted the siege of Madurai, and were hot on his trail. A new regiment had been raised in Ceylon, and now the army, at 4,000 men, moved back into Coromandel. But it would take until 11 Aug before the city was back in allied hands.

1473: War Continues

This left the pursuit of the Raja of Madurai up to Purushottama Suyavamsi of Orissa, who undertook such a task with a vengeance. The Orissa met the Madurai in a great battle, which reduced both armies greatly. In the end, it was the Tamil who broke and ran. The pursuits left them wholly shattered, and the remnants taken prisoner. By September, the campaign was progressing steadily. Madurai and Kongu had already been reduced, and Carnatic and Mysore were under siege. Orissa's taken province was in the process of liberation.

Also that year, the Malayalam people of Venad made a treaty with the king. They were accepted fully into the nation. There would be no greater or lesser races within the Kingdom of Kotte according to the royal proclamation. And it set aside any hopes of the Buddhist priests to convert them from their Hindu ways. "These people would need a century before they were ready for the teachings of the Buddha," he privately told them.

ceylon-1473.png


1474: A Different Peace

Mysore fell on the first day of 1474. It had taken nearly seven months for the garrison to capitulate. But it would take half a year more, until 15 July, before Carnatic was taken for the second time in the war. This time by the Sinhala themselves, unaided by the Raja of Orissa. At last, with the occupation of all Madurai, the war was was finally over. Coromandel was liberated. The arrogant Tamil Raja Narasa Pandya had been disgraced. It was possible to have settled the war before it was fought to its utmost, but this was done to send a warning to all nations: if you vow to destroy us, let such a karma be visited back upon you.

It was just before peace was settled that the King finally took a new advisor. With three states of three different peoples, Sinhala, Mayalalam, and now Tamil, the king needed assistance juggling all of his duties. So he brought to his court Senarut Ratnayake to head up all foreign trade. Also to help him with diplomatic affairs, which were becoming increasingly more complicated. For not everyone had taken these conquests well.

A new peace was now established. Far different from what anyone had imagined possible. Except, of course, for the mind of King Jayabahu II.


ceylon-1474.png
 
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PeterCorless

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5. Fateful Decision: Player Commentary

Playing this session was a nail-biter. I had no way to know at any moment if the Madurai stack of 9,000 troops was going to just turn my way and decimate my small force. Especially in the early months. I had heard of "hunter-killer" stacks, but I supposed that you need to have more than one stack to make such forces available. As it was, the typical "settling down" pattern of the AI seemed to work in my favor.

Moreso, the most gamey thing about my venture over into Venad was as a defensive strategy. Madurai, having recently finished a war against Vijayanagar and Venad, had no access rights into Venad. They couldn't enter the country to crush me even if they wanted to.

So, once over the border in 1472, I was "safe." It would be the "big boys" against each other -- Orissa (11k) and Madurai (9k).

During the climactic battle, Madurai actually was close to breaking Orissa. They were both down to 7k apiece and both near the cracking point when it was Madurai that broke and ran. But really, the tide of war was in our favor.

There is no way I could have won these initial wars without a powerful ally like Orissa. For many One Province Minor (OPM) players, consider getting yourself a "big brother" for your opening moves at conquest. Things go a lot easier!


Edit: Also, even though it's all "flavor text," I wanted to share a story about what it must have been like to be a diplomat. It certainly wasn't a safe or sure thing to go to a foreign court and tell your enemy the "bad news" in person. Not everyone treated emissaries with neutral impartiality. I am sure that many of them were beheaded or held prisoner for their bold utterances before heads of state, or for undertaking their intrigues of the court.
 
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