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morningSIDEr

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First Virkupashka and now Mallikarjuna passing away so quickly; what are you doing to your poor rulers?! Great stuff as ever, things seems very delicately poised at present.
 

CatKnight

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gabor: I'm not sure if a sustained offensive in MMU is possible. Certainly your experience with MMP supercedes mine with any of the series, so you are probably right. In any event I certainly overextended myself and paid.

RGB: Yes, though preserving it is taking more effort than I expected. :eek:

dinofs: I hope so.

Enewald: Thanks and welcome!

JDMS: It was going well, but Nagpur sorta broke my army's back. I'm grateful the AI didn't realize how weak I was.

morningSIDEr: I'm not sure what's happening. I even checked my defines file to make sure I didn't accidentally do something to ruler longevity, but no. I need someone long lived to come along soon.

(Preferably the next guy, as he has godlike stats!)
 

CatKnight

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Vijayflag2.png

Chapter IV Devaraya I
Part 1: Lowering the Flame (1417-1421


The cave in Mount Arunachala in the Eastern Ghats was almost cold and quite dark, a welcome relief from the torrid sun and humidity. She walked down a side passage that those with low chakra or little understanding of the energies that surround them could not even see. There, lit by a thin shaft of sunlight, lay a pool where Peperna sat and prayed for guidance.

So far she'd completely failed: Harihara died too soon. Virupaksha had delusions of godhood. She roused Mallikarjun long enough for him to get killed, and Peperna wasn't sure she had the strength to rally this new rajah from his drink.

A fresh breeze whistled through the room and the pond rippled. The thin sunlight strengthened five times, then ten as a figure materialized on the far side of the pool.

"Greetings, Vishn...."

"Auf wiedersehen!"


Peperna opened her eyes and stared at the small gold-black cat. "You...you aren't Vishnu."

"He's on holiday,"
the cat replied. "I'm filling in! I'm from the Egyptian division!"


bast.jpg

The Temp

*******


Fighting Withdrawal

As it happened, Devaraya wasn't inactive nor besot with drink in the days after becoming emperor. On the other hand, he realized his talents didn't lie on the battlefield and left the war's conduct to Senaapati Chatterji.

Vijaya Chatterji can't be described as a successful commander. He lost more battles than he won and did not at all live up to his given name. On the other hand, he had the rare gift of being good at losing. He knew how to turn rout into orderly retreat, regroup his army and convince them to try again. Following his defeat at Nagpur this is exactly what the Empire needed.

He arrived at Golconda days after Mallikarjuna's death to find the sieging army near dissolution. Disillusioned officers led men made timid by their emperor's abrupt departure from this world. It was pure luck the Deccan garrison hadn't realized their weakness and destroyed them entirely.

Chatterji didn't have time to wait for orders. He gathered the army and in a ringing tone swore undying fealty to the new king.

Vijaya Chatterji said:
Friends... I will not lie to you and pretend the days ahead will be easy. The Muslims are strong on in battle and led by a man who commanded armies before many of you were born. We are in danger and it will require every bit of strength and concentration for us to endure the days ahead.

I promise you this, however. Whatever trials the gods ask of you, I will be there as well. I will not return to Vijayanagara until you can go as well. We will match their steel with ours and their one god against our many. This is now a battle to keep them away from our homeland and that which we hold dear. In that we can not waver nor yield. We will persevere, and we will triumph.

Chatterji abandoned the outlying sieges and focused on those cities he hoped to hold: Konkan and Ahmandanagar. A token force remained in Raichur as a reserve, while a second small garrison continued to siege Golconda in the hopes of forcing the Bahamanid shah to the table. Those banners he could spare retreated into Vijayanagar to rest and recuperate.

1417Jun-Retreat.jpg


As plans go Chatterji's plan had merit, but remained vulnerable to a sudden attack by the shah. Here Taj ud-din Firuz Bahamanid stumbled for rather than destroy the broken regiments filtering in and out of Golconda under their commander's watchful eye, he turned his fury upon Bastar and won a punishing, though pointless victory against retreating troops. He'd heard of the trouble festering between Orissa and Vijayanagara which shall be mentioned shortly and hoped to push his way into Telingana.

Konkan's surrender in August forced Taj ud-din to reconsider as his quarrelous sultans suddenly demanded peace. He ordered his fleet to sortie against the Imperial navy defending Goa while he moved agianst Golconda. His senior general, Ahmand Darapu, was to seize Ahmandanagar.

Late in August the Imperial navy met the shah's near the Lacquedive Islands. Vijayanagar deployed three heavy, cumbersome warships flanked by two lighter cousins who easily caught the retreating Muslim galley in low gale force winds. Archers fired burning arrows into the rigging and into the exposed rower compartments. Wind turned a half dozen tiny blazes into an inferno as fire leapt from compartment to compartment. By the time the Bahamanids realized their danger it was far too late and the ship sank with all hands.

Taj ud-din returned to Golconda to find it abandoned by his adversary. Chatterji instead made his stand against Darapu in October.

The battle before Ahmandanagar, a last attempt by the Muslims to save their starving garrison, took place in October 1417. Neither army had much use for cavalry nor elephants: Taj ud-din brought all horse archers under his personal banner, while most of the remaining Imperial war elephants crossed into Vijayanagara with their handlers. This resulted in a more or less straight clash between 6,000 Hindus and 4,000 Muslims.

Numbers favored Chatterji, but luck did not. His men were still demoralized from losing their king and being forced on the defensive, while Darapu's men enjoyed the confidence that comes from attacking. The middle of the melee turned into a bloodletting with Darapu losing over one thousand men. Chatterji's flanks wavered and he once more led an orderly retreat leaving the Bahamanid army too weak to pursue.

By November, Senaapati Chatterji fulfilled his promise and led an intact, albeit bloodied army across the Imperial border. Bloodied, but in not broken: They manned the roads and passes out of the Deccan Plateau as thousands of men rushed to refill Chatterji's depleted ranks. He'd 'lost' well enough to make a counterattack on Imperial soil impractical. It would be up to his king to actually end the war.


A Lion from a Sheep

Devaraya did not want to fight. It was not, as some allege, due to cowardice so much as pragmatism. The gods granted him with a honeyed, if sometimes overly direct, tongue and a good eye for numbers, skills next to useless on the battlefield. It would also be fair to say Devaraya enjoyed the comforts that could be found in a major city as opposed to the earthy comforts of a field army.

He'd inherited his brother's war however, as well as resentment towards his uncle's holy war to unify Hinduism. In the weeks after Devaraya's ascension Orissan officials recognized the Carnatic rebellion in Parlakimidi as a legitimate effort to rejoin their rightful rajah, while an envoy in court openly demanded their release. (Greeting Foreign Emissaries: Insult: Diplomatic Insult CB vs Orissa)

The new emperor ordered the envoy whipped then dragged through the town. When Vaidehi, Mallikarjuna's wife, appealed for leniency he exiled her to Gondwana.

Devaraya I said:
It is through your interference that my brother is dead. Return to your family and trouble mine no more.

Once home, in an act of contrition, submission and sorrow, Vaidehi committed sahi.

Sahi was the act of a surviving spouse (almost always the widow) immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre. While there were certainly cases of force, subersion and intimidation, willing self-sacrifice happened often enough. Between this and deeply rooted tradition (the goddess Sati allegedly did this) sahi resisted all attempts at reform.

Since she was denied her husband's body by the vagaries of war, Vaidehi ordered a pyre built outside of town. She dressed in her marriage robes and, followed by a procession of grieving friends, ascended the pyre, sat and lit it herself. (Event: Leave the practice alone in Gondwana)

As Chatterji worked to save his army, Devaraya moved to put down dissent at home. He chose peaceful, albeit divisive means of doing so by pitting one family or cause against another and letting them wear each other down. The Pradhana, dominated by Mallikarjun and his Madras allies during Mallikarjuna's reign, began hinting that perhaps Orissa had the right idea regarding Parlakimidi. (2 x Aristocrats Concerned: -1 prestige) He split them into three mutually hostile and mutually ineffective factions.

As summer faded into autumn however, questions regarding Devaraya's courage grew. By now Chatterji planned his stand in Ahmandanagar while thousands of fresh recruits mustered within the Empire, yet the rajah remained in Vijayanagara. Finally Devaraya, stung after overhearing an unfavorable comparison to his brother, swung into action.

Devaraya (F3 S1 M0 Sg0) gathered five thousand under trained, but fully supplied soldiers and marched on Parlakimidi to destroy the Carnatic rebels. For their part the rebels were having a miserable time of it. The swelling of support they expected never materialized: Most men in Parlakimdi feared that even if they returned to Orissa's protection, sooner of later the Empire would simply invade again. Better to be on the winning side to begin with.

On November 1, 1417 Devaraya's army engaged about three thousand rebels including a large body of cavalry from the more rebellious hereditary nobles. The emperor let his regional commanders lead the offensive, while the rebels didn't have a cohesive command structure. This resulted in a chaotic melee with no rhyme nor reason that the Empire won through sheer numbers and a fair bit of luck.

He returned home to find Bahamanid envoys waiting for him. Taj ud-din wanted to use his armies in the northern campaign against Bihar and saw no reason to risk a bloody confrontation on Imperial soil, so he was willing to be lax in his terms. Devaraya was eager to end the war at all costs and agreed.

1417Dec-PeaceBaha.jpg



Courtly Intrigue

As Vijayanagara slowly recovered from war, Devaraya turned his attention to the world beyond India.

The Muslim/Hindu war for control of the lands north of the Deccan Plateau continued. Taj ud-din, with a weakened army and unwilling to strip his southern border again, settled for a token peace, while the Sultans of Gujarat devastated Rajputana. (4 provinces)

In central Asia, Hindus and their faith continued to have a rough time. Gujarat and Delhi suppressed numerous revolts through conquered Rajputana with great savagery. They put men and children to the sword while giving women to their men. Entire villages converted to save themselves, but this did not always satiate the victorious and bloodthirsty enemy. (More Hindu persecution.)

Refugees flooded southward and, to his credit, the Taj ud-din forbade his sultans from interfering with their flight. They first went to Mysore, who turned them away. (Event. Uhm..ok) They then descended on Telingana.

1418Jun-RefugeTelingana.jpg


Devaraya, sensitive to those who criticized his bowing out of the Bahamanid war so easily, allowed them to settle with little fuss. This caused some backlash within Telingana itself as northern and southern cultures collided, but with the very real Muslim threat on their doorstep (and equally real standing army garrisoned through the statelet) there was little trouble.

Not so in Vijayanagara. News of northern atrocities sparked rage with first local officials, then a slim majority of the Pradhana demanding renewed war.

1419May-NewMission.jpg


Senaapati Chatterji returned to Vijayanagara as the debate continued and took counsel with his king.

Vijaya Chatterji said:
Sir, I did not preserve your armies just to see them thrown away due to public outrage.

First, the men are still tired and weary. (High war exhaustion) It will take time for the army to be ready to fight again, and take longer for them to want to fight for any reason other than self defense. Further, before we fought the Shah while distracted on two fronts. Now he, also, has no enemies and he, also, has been rebuilding. It would be a long, costly war. I will do what you say, of course, but I must urge you to stay your hand.

Devaraya knew most of this. He also knew the world would despise him if he broke truce.

Instead, the emperor turned his gaze even further afield than northern India. He sent envoys, relatives and troubling nobles to other courts as far away as Rajputana in the north ahd Champa (Cambodia and Vietnam) in the east. Marriages within three of the principalities were designed solely to improve Imperial standing and possibly inherit.

At first this plan seemed to bear fruit as Champa's king promised to give his land to Vijayanagar, while Rajputana's rajah had no heir. In 1420 the former recanted while the latter begot a son. The irritated emperor responded by overtly claiming the thrones of two Indonesian states (Sunda and Majapahit), but here destiny denied him as well in the form of new heirs and fresh claimants to the throne. Devaraya lacked the navy or will to enforce his claims and so they faded.


A Slow Decline

Devaraya's fit of temper hurt the Empire in international circles. (Prestige crashed from about 50 to 10 following the two claims.) His opponents sensed weakness and began rallying against him.

His first challenge came from soldiers released after the war. They began forming mercenary bands that fought amongst themselves on the behalf of local nobles. Chatterji asked for and received permission to bring them back into his army. (Erocheon - disbanded troops. Keep them as security: -25d, +5% manpower)

Vijaya Chatterji was ill however and died in early 1421. This left the army without a senior general however, and without their rallying point. In a case of bad timing, Devaraya used this opportunity to shake things up. He ordered the army to stop training war elephants and instead develop cavalry archers like the northern Indian states. He'd received reports of elephants running amuck at Nagpur in the last war and dreaded a repeat.

Any military, regardless of time or place, is bound by tradition. Those noblemen in regions who benefited from raising and training elephant cavalry spoke out against this change. [color](Disgruntled Aristocrat Faction)[/color] Other men simply disliked trying to adapt new tactics and strategies, while Devaraya's remaining commanders told him it would take years to properly train horse and rider alike.

The emperor was inclined to give his army that time, though he found a three-way alliance between Mysore, Travancore and Gondwana particularly troubling as the three smaller states, attacking from west and north, could provide a challenge if they chose. The Rajah of Gond was Vaidehi's brother and vexed at the circumstances of her suicide.

It didn't help matters that those men who'd been injured or crippled in the fighting organized and asked for recompense. Chatterji might have used their loyalty to defuse the situation or lower their 'request', but Devaraya refused outright causing much resentment in the ranks. (Veteran of Foreign Wars: The War is Over, +1 WE)

While resentment in the army and nobility ran high, the powerful merchant guilds who now dominated eastern Vijayanagara and sent ships weekly to Malacca and China enjoyed their chance at peace. One man in particular, the diplomat/merchant Varupaksha Keshaw, envisioned a trading empire rather than one reliant on force. He moved his base of operations to Kongu in an effort to begin building merchant companies in western India as well as east. (Commercial Faction in Kongu. Peace and Prosperity: +5 Prestige)

Like the military, merchants could be a conservative lot. Devaraya needed friends and was willing to cater to their wishes. When a riot broke out in Madras between dockworkers and their employers, he came down hard on the side of the merchants.

Devaraya said:
Of the four varnas (castes), the lowest is made up of those who provide services. Their obligations to those above them are set out in holy text. By rising up against their betters they repudiate their own dharma (duty) and provoke divine retribution.

We cannot have this element eating away at the values of our people. They will return to their duty. Or they will die.

1420Feb-CasteSystem.jpg


While this certainly earned him friends among the Hindu and Muslim merchants, his draconian stance worried many. When a revered swami suggested Devaraya might not understand the religious texts as well as he might, the emperor abruptly reversed his stance.

1421Aug-MilitaryUpset.jpg


Making things somewhat worse.
 

unmerged(59077)

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This king is having no luck at all.

Come on Vijays!
 

Enewald

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The Empire expands because the AI is unable to stop it.
And you're lucky.
 

dinofs

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Having such an unlucky king is not good at all.
 

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Dear god! Peperna, gentle bovine of the West unmourned! ;) How could I have glided o'er the AAR's without spotting thee. Consider this one subscribed. (Going to read from the very beginning).

I just know her left hoof has a tattoo with Selenus' initials.
 

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There are, of course, no sacred cows.

You may not be running the TO, but you've brought their usual luck to your battles and incompetent military kings, when you needed such good commanders.

I'd have taken as in annexed the two states and let the high DIP eat up the infamy. It seemed to me that you could have taken the Deccan Sultanates and occuppied them and not paid for a peace with victory so close.
 

morningSIDEr

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Excellent stuff. Devaraya is proving a wonderfully compelling character, I'm not sure I'd want him as my ruler however!
 

CatKnight

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COMMENT: I'm getting rather frustrated. You'll see why at the end of this post. Bloody hell. :mad:

RGB: Our luck continues. Though, with any luck, it's about to turn. :)

Enewald: Hm...we haven't expanded since Virkupasha's first war. We were very lucky to get out of the Deccan war unscathed though.

dinofs: Nope.

gabor: It took me awhile to get a grip on Devaraya's character. I'm not sure I ever succeeded, though I think I understand him a little better this post.

Vandervecken: Of course it does!

Chief Ragusa: In India there are. ;)

It may be that having the EU3 engine hand my tail to me too many times has made me timid, but I don't think so. War exhaustion appears to go down more slowly in MM than in vanilla, and Infamy is much more unstable. I could have conquered Mysore, certainly, but being in double digit infamy and going into a war where I hoped to gain something wasn't good.

I think the Bahamanids had me when I lost the battle at Nagpur. Indeed, if the AI hadn't been timid I think it could have done far more serious damage to my armies. Yes, I had the entire country under siege but only two of those sieges had noticeable progression. I tried to assault Ahmadanagar thrice and failed each time. A more decisive AI (and certainly a human) could have defeated me in detail. Anyway, the 11 ducat peace was hardly fatal (and not even all of my treasury), while releasing Travanacore was a blessing...because now I can conquer it outright later.

morningSIDEr: Devaraya never really picked up what it meant to be a good ruler.
 

CatKnight

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Vijayflag2.png

Chapter IV Devaraya I
Part 2: Diplomatic Insults (1422-1426)


Unforgivable

By the summer of 1422, Devaraya's lackluster approach to warfare and apparent indifference regarding the social strictures Hindus had lived under for centuries left him few friends, but his ability to split his opponents and talk his way out of 'misunderstandings' kept him from earning many enemies either. Vijayanagara drifted easily threw the early years of the decade. Resentment faded as nobles and commoners alike focused on the day to day stresses of life. (Aristocrat faction back to 'Neutral'. It won't last.)

This calm lasted until February 1423 when noblemen once more clamored for Parlakimdi's release as either a sovereign princedom or returned to Orissa. (Occupation of Parlakimidi: Aristocrats (still) concerned. -1 Prestige)

To understand their continued resistance, one must take a closer look at who we're talking about. The Vijayanagaran Empire was highly centralized for its time, with each province ruled by a local commander and a governor appointed by the emperor. On the other hand, it was still young: Less than a century old and still relied on the hereditary nobles that ruled each town and village. These nobles were cousin to the counts, barons and landed knights of Europe with significant local autonomy and many of their sons wound up in the warrior caste or performing government work.

Naturally there were those men who'd prefer to see Vijayanagara act more as a feudal, decentralized state where more power lay in their hands. Devaraya kept them from unifying against him by playing on petty rivalries to keep them divided, angering a minority who realized what he was doing. Parlakimidi was an excuse, albeit a valid one: If the Emperor wouldn't respect their rights, what stopped him from stripping the rights of nobles closer to home? There is some evidence that Orissan agents whispered in their ears and kept the Parlakimidi issue from dying.

Even if Devaraya wanted to release Parlakimidi (there is no sign he did), it wouldn't be to Orissa or Gondwana. He'd not forgotten the former recognizing Parlakimidi's Carnatic rebellion when he assumed the throne, nor Gondwana's alliance with his other neighbors.

While he once more refused their 'counsel,' Yadu Raya of Mysore stepped in. He firmly condemned the Vijayanagaran aggressors and demanded Parlakimidi's, Bangalore's and Calicut's return to their former owners.

1423Feb-Insult.jpg


Notably absent from his demand was Telingana, the land closest to the Imperial capital. There the Tamil majority had adapted well to their new situation and formed cultural and trading links with their new sovereign. Even Orissan envoys had ceased demanding its return.

1423Jun-Reality.jpg


Neighbors encouraged Devaraya to stay calm and publicly he merely dismissed all claims regarding Parlakimdi. He didn't forget though, and by autumn fate forced his hand.


Wavering

Socially Devaraya remained indifferent. Upset nobles a minor recession caused by a budding trade war in China against states few had heard of took up his time. He cared less about the lower castes, and when work stoppages, public debate and a 'police action' exposed his governor's corruption in Madurai, he once more came down hard on the 'oppressed.' (Peasants get Uppity: Enforce Serfdom, +1 Serfdom)

Their leader, Ekram, sensed his king's indifference and traveled to Vijayanagara to put a human face to his cause. After (falsely) introducing himself as a local merchant guildmaster, he received an audience. Excerpts from his appeal survive to this day:

Ekram said:
...for surely, Master, we remain ever loyal to the Rajah. Our concern and discontent with your representative only means that we would wish for only the greatest men in the Empire to serve and represent you.... Sometimes, only through breaking a law and risking your anger, can we show our appreciation and respect for the Rajah's justice.

Devaraya sent orders the next day dismissing his governor. (Petition for Redress: Granted, +1 Free Subjects, -5 Prestige) Those men in power weren't exactly thrilled. (Aristocrat faction back to Disgruntled)

It was during this time that Kothia Aditya of Travanacore made his move. He'd successfully pushed Mallikarjuna into backing down in 1416, and Devaraya hadn't done anything to suggest he was made of sterner stuff. Quite the opposite. In October 1423, he sent a flood of letters to disgruntled nobles in Madurai as well as former countrymen in Calicut. He spoke dramatically about the need for a strong Hindu state and then asked...

Kothia Aditya said:
Do you believe the weakling in Vijayanagara can protect you when, not if, war comes again?
(Border Friction: Travanacore gets CB)

The result was immediate, if not predictable. Contempt drove Devaraya into making decisions. Unfortunately, when one isn't used to making a stand any move at all seems like a good one. He'd already crippled the one body (the Pradhana) who might have helped him make wiser choices. As it stood, he was determined to disprove his weakness and mobilized the army for war while appointing Harihara Mayekar as his new Senaapatti. (F3 S0 M1 Sg0)

Mayekar was a stern, harsh disciplinarian who preferred frontal assaults and dismissed maneuvering as a cowardly trait. He also demanded full control of the army (second to Devaraya of course,) which the king happily granted. Through the winter they drew a plan that lacked in grace or imagination. Fortunately, neither was called for.

1424Apr-War.jpg


In mid-March 1424 the Vijayanagaran Empire declared war on Mysore. Devaraya cited Yadu Raya's inflammatory speech as his reasoning, though most of India assumed this was a simple landgrab. (Reconquest CB) Mayekar would slaughter the Mysorean army and seize their cities while the rest of the army would defend against Gondwanan or Biharan interference.

Maharajah Mubarak of Bihar wasn't about to risk alienating a potential ally against Muslim aggression over a tiny statelet that might be better off annexed anyway. Indeed, months later he'd offer an alliance. Arjuna Simha Gond wanted revenge for his sister, however, and answered Mysore's cry for help. (VIJAYANAGAR vs. GONDWANA, Mysore)

As armies marched and Devaraya felt he'd proven his leadership, circumstances conspired to make him look as foolish as ever.


The Tiger Awakes

Vijaya Sangara was 23 when the war began, cousin to his 32 year old king and heir apparent. He'd earned his nickname from an ancient proverb about cats becoming tigers in their own lair: Normally level headed, he reacted quickly and violently to any insult to his honor or his king.

He'd picked up his cousin's love for the luxuries of civilization, however. He also loved women, and if they were married that only added to the challenge. When he bedded the Karyakartha's wife, the Imperial chief secretary demanded retribution. Loudly and publicly.

1424Apr-Secret.jpg


There would be no retribution of course. Indeed, the Karyakartha lost his position, titles and land, while his wife lost her life. As for the heir apparent, Devaraya demanded he take charge of the eastern armies.

Devaraya I said:
It is to be hoped, cousin, that some time away will introduce you to the virtues of self reliance and restraint. Perhaps by fighting the Gonds you will learn something about being a king and not embarassing your name.

It didn't hurt that this would get him out of the city just as a number of husbands began comparing notes.

Mayekar's war against Mysore deserves little mention. On March 28, he met Yadu Raya several leagues east of Mysore. The Mysorean king split his army into three groups with about one banner each. Mayekar's eight banners slammed into them with his flanks enveloping the enemy. He used his small body of horse archers to end-run the battle and shoot at them from behind. Within three hours the Mysoreans broke with one thousand killed and two thousand prisoners.

Initial forays into southern Gondwana near Indravati proved disastrous. Eight thousand Imperials met five thousand under Rajah Arjuna Simha along a pass in the eastern Deccan Plateau. Arjuna Simha (F2 S3 M2 Sg1) ordered his footsoldiers to flank the Imperials on left and right to box them in. Once accomplished he used his war elephants to storm through the heart of the Vijayanagaran formation with devastating effect. The stragglers fled towards Parlakimidi.

Vijaya, now in command of the reserve army, marched eastward to intercept Arjuna's pursuit. If the Gondwanans hoped to seize that land for themselves, they'd be disappointed as Vijaya's tactical prowess began to show. (In game terms, Devaraya is in charge of the second army. He's F3 S1 M0 Sg0) The two armies clashed in an open field east of the city.

Including the men routing from Indravati, Vijaya's army numbered twelve thousand with a large body of cavalry. Arjuna's army hadn't appreciably grown and this time he lacked the numbers to pen in and destroy the Imperials. Arjuna managed to destroy isolated units in a series of skirmishes but couldn't force a decisive battle. Finally he retreated, though this was very much a pyrrhic victory with thousands of dead and wounded Imperials on the field.

Vijaya pursued the Gonds back to Indravati. Once more he suffered disproportionate losses and routed towards Telingana. Reports vary, but it's believed as many as nine thousand Vijayanagarans were killed or wounded in the first three major clashes, to less than one thousand Gondwanans.


War of Maneuver

According to his memoirs and the 'Tales of Victory,' it was around now Vijaya began composing his theories on war that relied not on direct clashes, but on securing objectives and forcing your enemy to fight at a disadvantage. The Imperial army had a third reserve consisting of those men Mayekar released from the siege of Mysore. He had them burn the crops and stores in Telingana then retreat to Parlakimidi. From there they would dart past Arjuna's army and descend on Indravati.

For his part, Vijaya prepared for a final stand within the ruined fields of Telingana. Arjuna reinforced his army to seven thousand men, while Vijaya could only bring half that to the final battle. Vijaya's infantry vanished in the midst of an elephant stampede. His archers flanked and shot at Gond's footsoldiers killing perhaps three hundred, but superior firepower overcame them as well.

Vijaya returned home with a number of arrows in his left leg and side. He'd lost his army, but not the lessons he'd learned from Arjuna. The war continued as Devaraya recruited a fresh army from the interior.

In October 1424 Arjuna abandoned his two month siege of Telingana to return home. By now both Indravati and the capital of Gondwana were under siege, and as a deliberate provocation Vijaya had ordered the northern army to despoil Vaidehi's shrine. Per orders his men abandoned the siege at Indravati as the angry rajah pushed north. Days before his arrival the siegers at Gondwana simply left with what they could comfortably carry in loot and faded across the Bihar border.

This simple game of baiting continued through all of 1425. Having secured his capital, Arjuna once more moved south to attack Telingana. The army based in Bihar returned to Gondwana. Arjuna turned around. So did the Imperials. In the autumn of '25 Arjuna finally caught on to what he called "a monkey's tricks" and succeeded in conquering Telingana. He then marched north to relieve his capital once and for all.

By now Vijaya had healed as much as he was going to: He walked with a painful limp for the rest of his life and much preferred being on horseback. He'd helped train the 'new' army to replace the one he'd lost fighting Arjuna and marched north. In December he left a token force to take back Telingana and marched into Indravati. This summoned Arjuna from his capital and the two armies spent January marching towards each other.

Vijaya's new army consisted of ten thousand souls, undertrained but eager with a very heavy emphasis on foot soldiers. Arjuna's continued to be based around his elephants and numbered some six thousand.

As the two armies maneuvered however, Vijaya received orders from the Mahapradhana to return home with all possible haste.

An Orissan agent snuck into Devaraya's bedroom and stabbed him. Forty times.

The Emperor was dead.

Again.

Vijayanagara Empire said:
Population: 1,937,000
Largest City: Madras (64,900)
Religion: Hindu (91%), Sunni (9%), Other (1%)
Culture: Tamil (60%), Telugu (29%), Kannada (8%), Other (3%)

Tech: Gov 3, Pro 3, Trd 3, Lnd 3, Nvy 3
Prestige 4, MP 8,920, Gold 49, Stab 2, Infamy 1.8, Inflation 6.4, Legitimacy 100
Army: 23 Footsoldier, 2 Horse Archer
Navy: 3 Carracks, 2 Pinnaces, 5 Cogs
 

axzhang

Lt. General
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Mar 22, 2009
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:rofl: Perhaps with Vijaya's injury he will finally temper his future indiscretions? May the chambermaids of "Europe" breathe a sigh of relief!

P.S. Long-time lurker of this AAR, first time poster! Quality stuff.
 

unmerged(59077)

Tzar of all the Soviets
Jul 17, 2006
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Sometimes war is best conducted with straightforward brutality, but even that war didn't match the brutality of the assassination.

Also, kings of small nations, take note: don't provoke the larger ones next door and don't conspire with disgruntled aristocrats if you can't deliver the goods!
 

unmerged(86600)

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Nov 2, 2007
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A very interesting situation here. The heir on campaign, the potential for civil war, the legion of disgruntled husbands. Good show;)
 

dinofs

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You really do have bad luck with emperors.
 
Last edited:

morningSIDEr

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Very engrossing stuff. The Vijaynagaran royal family becomes all the more intriguing with each passing update. Such a pity they do not seem to survive for long!
 

unmerged(58610)

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This is really going to sour relations between Orissa and Vijayanagar, isn't it?

Vijaya had better be a better general. I hope you have some troops guarding the south in case Travancore decides to invade.

I hope you'll be able to get something territory wise off Gondwana.

Your sacred cow doesn't seem to have made up her mind quite which Hindu state to favour. Pity bast can't chivvy her along.