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morningSIDEr

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Very impressive gains. I do think it very fitting that during all of the fighting and destruction, your ruler remains true to his reputation and finds time to 'fraternise' with one of the maids.
 

CatKnight

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Beamed: Meh. I don't like it when MM has to spawn troops to keep the AI competitive. Unfortunately, sometimes it does seem to be necessary.

Enewald: A line in the jungle maybe?

Qorten: That's basically what I was thinking: Cutting the Bahamanids away from the shore would take their navy out of the picture. I will have to lie low for awhile. The home front's getting...interesting.

naggy: I don't know re- Holy Wars, but it seems reasonable. Maybe one of the Muslim states will be nice enough to help me find out.

dinofs: Exactly! If only every nation was so wise.

axzhang: Usually there's only one or two characters to worry about in a post so there isn't much trouble, but since I hired a legion of generals I can understand your confusion. I'll add a list at the end of this feedback.

Chief Ragusa: Orissa will get theirs someday. I just need something politicians sometimes refer to as an 'excuse.' :)

morningSIDEr: I think Vijaya would go mad if he couldn't "fraternize" with the maids.

COMMENT:
Per axzhang's request, here is a list of major characters at this time:

Vijaya (I) - born 1401: Rajah (and Emperor) of Vijayanagara

Mallikarjuna (II) - born 1431: Heir apparent
Tamasi - A clerk and Mallikarjuna's birth mother.

Sri Vira Varma - Former Rajah of Travanacore. Governor of Trivandrum (Malabar)
Mallikarjun Desari - Governor of Madurai

Nagahedra ("Naggy") Maharpelli: Sergeant Major-1 - Reworked the Vijayanagaran military to make it more efficient.
Harihara Mayekar - Senapaati of the Imperial Army
Vijaya Jeoomal - One of his generals
Immadi Jeoomal - ""
Sadashivaraya Chatterji - "" - probably the best commander of all of them, though the least experienced.

Sudengpha III - Rajah of Assam
Perundevi - his daughter
Bhadur - Shah of Gujarat
Ali - Shah of the Bahamanid (Deccan) Sultanates
Mahdu Singh - Rajah of Rajputana
 

CatKnight

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Vijayanagarflag.png

Chapter V: Vijaya I
Part 3: Trouble at Home (1433-1438)


Winding Down

Vijaya I, Emperor and Rajah of Vijayanagara, had problems dealing with success. Specifically he fell into the ancient trap of believing in his own infallibility, which in turn made a number of people very angry.

The problem began in June 1431 when Vijaya's tryst with a clerk resulted in a new heir to the throne. It didn't help that, now that the war was over and he could return to the capital, he gave young Mallikarjuna a place of honor in what amounted to a five hundred mile (about 800 km) victory parade. The people rejoiced in the pomp and ceremony of Vijaya's homecoming. His detractors watched, worried and waited.

Nor did it help when Vijaya quietly stopped consulting with the advisory Pradhana. Legally he didn't have to consult his council, but as it consisted of representatives he'd appointed from the more powerful families it made political sense to do so. When the Mahapradhana, or prime minister, resigned in disgust shortly after his return even more moderate souls wondered if Vijaya was starting to slip down the same path as the 'God King' Virkupashka.

1433Jun-aSliderMove.jpg


Unlike his predecessor, however, Vijaya surrounded himself with a small coterie of women willing to help him deal with any stress or frustration. His writings concerning military conquest had spread throughout southern India, and there was no shortage of ladies - noble and clerk alike - willing to let him refine his tactics.

If nothing else, this seems to have kept him level headed as rumors spread. He sent envoys with gifts and promises of good will to nearby Rajputana in an effort to forge a long term alliance. His target: Gujarat with its rich trading center at Baroda. He felt another war might distract his enemies as well as get him away from an increasingly hostile mother to his child.

1433Jun-Mission.jpg


Rajputana answered with their own delegation agreeing to the alliance. Further, they arrived with a young woman in her mid to late teens as a possible bride for the rajah. Vijaya 'gave' her to the son of one of the more hostile nobles hoping to win him (or his son) over. It did neither, nor did it really impress the delegation. (Royal Marriage)

Rajputana's rajah, Mahdu Singh, replied that since the 'bride' was from one of his noble families he would let the 'transaction' go through, but noted it might be best if Vijaya pay closer attention to, and treat with greater respect, those who would be his allies and friends. (Event: Friendly Warning - no effect, just an advisory to watch my Infamy)

In other news, a virtual army of clerks flooded the newly conquered lands to help bring their administrative potential up to the empire's standards. Vijaya appointed governors and commanders for each region. The news was mixed:

In the west, where a large majority in Konkan supported Vijaya's 'interference' in the face of forced conversion to Islam, the process went very smoothly. Indeed, it went so smoothly that the Marathi majority quickly worked their way into the upper echelons of Imperial administration. Here there would be little, if any, dissent to Vijaya's rule and the two sides quickly built up a great deal of trust and mutual respect. (Marathi is an accepted culture.)

The news from Raichur was more troubling. Here Taj ud-din Bahamanid had made some gains for his faith. With him removed from the picture, majority Hindus now turned the tables and punished those who'd converted to Allah. Minority Shiites and Sunnis formed an unlikely alliance with Oriental Christians as they were pushed into ghettoes and outlying villages. It would take a delicate hand to keep the whole region from going up in flames. (Heretics gain popular support.)


Pirates of India

All of this was nothing compared to the threat from the high seas. There had always been coastal piracy of course, with documented evidence dating back to the Chalukya dynasties five hundred years before. Nonetheless, a strong nation with a powerful navy could usually keep it to a minimum through such advanced techniques as escorted convoys and signal fires.

By 1433, Vijayanagara's naval power dipped dangerously low. Years of relative neglect and a handful of decisive defeats left the shattered remnants of the Imperial fleet sitting in Mysore's port. During the war with the Deccan Sultanates, Vijaya weakened it further by allowing Nagendra ("Naggy") to build a (land) military academy in Vijayanagara. (Event: Dedicated Military Leadership: -84 ducats, +1 prestige, -5 tax, +0.25 morale)

This made sense for a nation that expected to do the bulk of its fighting against Muslim neighbors to the north. Nonetheless, the signal this sent to young noblemen was clear enough: Join the navy and waste your life getting drunk in port. Join the army and win glory for yourself and your family.

It's worth noting that 'getting drunk in port' certainly appealed to many. Just no one with a rudimentary concept of modern naval tactics and, as the older captains retired or died off, they had no one to learn them from.

Trade between Malacca, China and India flourished and proved too much temptation to pass up. Disgruntled nobles began patronizing small fleets in exchange for a cut of the spoils. Advanced warning of the Empire's increasingly sporadic patrols meant these pirates could easily evade their enemies before returning to strike again.

One captain's report from this time describes the problems.

Log of merchant ship 'Sachet' - Sometime in 1435 said:
Day 1: In the morning, we set course from Trivandrum to Goa. Weather is fair, with wind blowing (landward). A patrol ship (coastal - smaller than a sloop) will escort us into open waters for all the difference their presence makes. (The naval day ends at noon.)

Day 2: Afternoon: Wind now from the southeast - we will make good time. Encountered two ships tacking towards us. We mutually evaded each other. Once sure of each others intent the rear ship flew a (banner) warning us of pirates ahead. (Though Indian vessels at this time did not possess semaphore or anything like it, they were capable of communicating rudimentary concepts.) Evening: Lookout reports a ship to seaward. I will reverse course for tonight and so evade them.

Dawn: Enemy ship guessed my intent and also changed course. They are now one mile to seaward behind me and closing. The wind has shifted again giving him the advantage ... triangular sails, sleek vessel. Probably Arab or Persian. Morning: They have ordered our surrender. We sighted two other ships apparently from Trivandrum heading towards us. They sensibly ran from our chase. One is fleeing directly for the city, hopefully to ask them to send help. Lookout reports Quilon (Kollam) three miles ahead. If we can hold on for another twenty minutes they will surely send help ... No help from Quilon. Their patrol ship is away. We must... (surrender?)

1434Pirates.jpg

('Sachet's' course, overlaid over a modern map.)

For a time merchant houses replied by attempting to establish overland trade routes with Bihar. Poor relations with neighboring Gondwana, where the caravans would need to pass through, made this even less profitable than chancing piracy. (MMU gives a bonus to merchant competing and tenacity for smaller traders. Going above 10 or so - or five in each of two TCs - makes it very hard for me to stay competitive.)

When pirates intercepted a shipment of rare eastern spices meant for Vijayanagara itself, the rajah finally swung into action establishing a nationwide defense plan. He ordered new coastal patrol ships constructed and agreed with mercantile attempts to organize shipping routes. This effectively isolated smaller merchant houses and prevented them from competing. Over the next ten years dozens of companies went out of business while a small handful of men - those who either reached an accomodation with pirates or could survive a high level of risk - became very wealthy.

(Piracy Rampant in Kondavidu. In response I instituted a Limited Anti-Piracy Plan: (National Tax -10%, Land Force Limit -7.5%, Navy Force Limit -35%, Prestige +0.2%/yr)

It wasn't bad enough that Vijaya spent his entire reign (and years before) working his way through a surprising percentage of the wives and daughters of Imperial aristocracy, nor that he spurned every one in favor of his next tryst. He'd proceeded to impregnate a clerk and make said child the heir apparent. He'd repeatedly ignored their concerns, (Concern over Parlakamidi: -1 Prestige) ignored his own advisory council, and greatly strengthened a handful of merchants to the point their wealth dwarfed many of the nobles.

No. Finally in October 1433 Vijaya finally tired of Mallikarjuna's mother and sent her home. Finally, at age thirty-two, he announced he would marry. As nobles presented their less debauched daughters for his perusal, the emperor of the Vijayanagaran Empire selected...

...an outsider. Perundevi, the only daughter of Sudangpha III of Assam. Perundevi was an attractive girl in her mid to late teens, soft spoken, gentle - and unable to speak a word of Kannada nor Telegu.

This was too much. Though the local nobles continued to pay lip service to their sovereign (something to do with thirty thousand men under arms), they began speaking covertly against Vijaya and looking towards the day he might make a fatal misstep. (Aristocrat Faction: Furious.) The governor/former Rajah of Trivandrum met with several others including the governor of Madurai to found the 'Pink Lotus.'

The Pink Lotus, named after one of the symbols favored by Vishnu, wasn't necessarily looking to overthrow the Rajah - though there were certainly exceptions. They wanted to weaken Vijaya however and to make him more beholden to their will. They planned to do this by economically strangling the merchants who supported their rajah's efforts to at least attempt to contain piracy. The Lotus therefore actively funded larger pirate fleets thanks to loans from Muslim merchants. (Islamic Merchants in Tiruchchirapalli). Similar to Vijaya's efforts, this resulted in isolating the small-time pirates who either joined with their betters or faded away.

In 1434 a fleet of thirty-four ships - mostly coastal privateers with a handful of bonafide transports - descended on the coastline recently conquered from the Bahamanids. The merchant houses had built small escort fleets, but nothing on this scale. Certainly the Imperial fleet wasn't up to a major battle. The towns and cities of the Deccan coast therefore suffered under virtual siege until the pirates realized they'd cleared the waters of any prizes and so faded away. (Piracy uncontrolled in Dadra, Raichur Doab)

This led Bhadur I of Gujarat to gamble over neighboring Dadra. He sent agents into the troubled cities who whispered into influential ears. Should the Marathi not be free? they asked. Should the Marathi not, at least, find someone who can protect them?

1434May-ForeignInterf.jpg


We've noted that the Marathi quickly found acceptance with their new masters and so refused the 'invitation.' Local officials captured two agents who, under duress, admitted they were paid by Bhadur Muzaffarid of Gujarat. Once more Vijaya prepared for war and moved sixteen thousand men towards the Gujarat border.

Then came a warning from, of all places, Vijaya's wife.

Perundevi said:
My Lord, I have spoken with a number of men and women through your land. As you know, your greatness has scared many who see themselves as great. They would rise up against you and only wait for your distraction. If you start this war, no matter how justified you may be, they will see this as their chance. Patience, my lord. Come to bed, knowing that events to ensure your revenge are already in motion.
(Special Foreign Envoy: Another BB warning - currently at 10.83/19. Not sure why it spiked.)

Perundevi was more than just pretty. She quickly mastered the local Telegu language and in later years minimized her accent. She made friends with a number of loyalists (especially monarchists who wanted Vijaya to rule forever) and built an effective, subtle intelligence network.

For a little over one year the situation remained stable. The Pink Lotus continued their raids, but by now the remaining merchant houses formed escorts and pirate hunting squadrons to level the playing field. Then, in July 1435 a ship from Trivandrum arrived:

Tamasi, Mallikarjuna's mother, had not done well since returning home. She'd lost her child and position. Her family turned her away. She subsisted for almost two years on scraps and begging before deciding she'd had enough. Since her mate was lost to her, she vowed to commit Sati.

This caused some dissent within the Lotus, between those who hoped to use her to highlight Vijaya's cruelty and those who thought Sati too honorable for a clerk. The former faction won and sent a challenge to Vijayanagara: Let her die and expose your tyranny, or force her to live (also a cruel act) and turn your back on tradition.

Vijaya never loved Tamasi, but he still felt guilty that she might choose death over living without him. He traveled to Malabar under heavy escort and offered a third alternative: Nominal 'Sati,' exile, and a life long pension.

1435Aug-SelfImmolation.jpg



A Short, Inglorious Affair

In April 1436 Rajputana declared war on Gujarat over the Jaisalmer border region. This gave Vijaya the excuse he needed and he joined the war along with Gondwana and Nepal. (Mission completed: +1 Prestige) Baluchistan joined the defense. (Unfortunately for some reason my war map didn't save. I'm not happy.)

This resulted in what experts call a 'dogpile.' Khandesh finished up a successful war against the prostate Bahamanids and declared war along with Delhi. Khorasan and Persia also tried their luck.

As the war began Bhadur of Gujarat determined his greatest threat came from the south, therefore he chanced catastrophic defeat in an attempt to force Vijaya out of the war as soon as possible. He massed nine thousand men in Surat. The Empire had a total of sixteen thousand men on the Deccan coast led by Sadashivaraya Chatterji and Vijaya himself.

Reinforcements boosted Bhadur's numbers to sixteen thousand and he crossed into Dadra in July. He may have hoped Marathi would rise up to join him, but by 1436 he probably realized his efforts to incite a rebellion had failed. Instead he hoped to crush Chatterji's army before Vijaya could move up and so defeat the Imperial army in detail.

As the two armies marched towards each other, the one naval battle of the war took place. Last year, in an effort to discourage piracy, the emperor ordered the Imperial navy out of port to patrol the Vijayanagaran coast from Dadra to Parlakimidi and back. This resulted in a few small victories, but the badly underequipped fleet was no match for Gujarat.

In July eleven Gujarat warships met the Imperials consisting of four warships and five transports, and no commander worthy of the title. Gujarati commander Ahmad Shirivastaiv split his fleet in two and easily ran down the fleeing Imperials. By the end of the day Vijayanagara lost one ship and four transports.

In Dadra, Vijaya arrived over a week ahead of Bhadur's advance. More reinforcements under Harihara Mayekar arrived on July 24. By the time Bhadur realized his danger, he'd already committed to the single largest battle in Imperial history.

The Gujarati and Vijayanagaran armies were similar in composition: Both sides favored mobility over protection with Muslim infantry favoring knife, bow and sword. Their cavalry relied on a mixture of curved scimitars and horse bows that resembled those used by the Ottomans and Mamluks.

When skirmishers made contact the Imperial army was massed around the village of Bhilad and somewhat disorganized as Chatterji and Vijaya integrated their commands. They planned to consolidate and expand their front line to pin the Gujarati as cavalry sniped at the flanks. Senapaati Mayekar detached his cavalry to rush forward and support the advance while his footmen would act as a reserve upon arrival.

1436Jul-Bhilad.jpg


Bhadur had planned to cross the Ganges River and, if time permitted, hold and fortify any fords. When he ran out of time he hoped to rush forward with his footsoldiers and flank the Imperials before they could form up. His right flank consisted of horsemen who initially planned to flank their enemy, but quickly switched roles into skirmishing with their counterparts.

The two cavalry commands fought ineffectively, intermingling formations in a wild dance of sabre and hoof. Similarly the front line shifted back and forth yards at a time with hundreds of men falling to be trampled by friend and foe alike. Bhadur had a gift for being calm in a crisis and conveying this to his people, deploying banner after banner of reserves to fill the wavering line. What Chatterji and Vijaya lost through disunited command they made up for with sheer numbers.

For over an hour the clash remained in doubt until Mayekar's cavalry joined the fray pushing the Gujarati front back so that the middle resembled an inverted wedge or 'V'. Bhadur still had a chance to save the day as he rallied the last of his reserves and launched a counterattack hoping to collapse Mayekar's flanks and destroy him.

Then Bhadur's cavalry finally broke, allowing Vijaya's to attack the Gujarati from behind. Banner after banner broke as morale shattered and it was only Vijaya's need to consolidate his gains that allowed Bhadur to escape at all. When the sun dawned on July 25, 2,100 Imperials were either dead or wounded, while they'd killed 2,700 Gujarati.

Three days later Vijaya launched a counterattack into Surat hoping to annihilate Bhadur's army. Here 17,000 Imperials fought 11,000 Gujarati, but this time Bhadur used the nearby jungles and hills to advantage raining down a barrage of arrows into Vijaya's surprised men as they marched more or less in column.

Vijaya quickly deployed for battle and managed to once more push Bhadur back thanks to scouting cavalry pinning down and destroying isolating units, but three thousand Vijayanagarans lost their lives.

This was enough for Vijaya: With Rajputana running this war, he wasn't likely to win anything. Given repeated warnings from his wife and others about a secret organization called the 'Pink Lotus,' he wasn't sure he wanted to add to his troubles right now. Scouts reported that the Shah of Khandesh, having thrashed Ali Bahamanid, was en route to Surat with 7,500 men to take that city for himself. Vijaya therefore retreated across the border and signed a truce with Bhadur in November.


Success

In August 1437 Sudengpha III of Assam abandoned his mortal coil and went on to his next incarnation. He had no heir, unless one counted his daughter Perundevi, which Vijaya did. He instantly asserted his claim (on Perundevi's behalf) to the Assam throne. Word hadn't reached the distant princedom of Vijaya's naval weakness or trouble at home so local nobles acceded to his demands without incident in return for a guarantee of Assam's rights and appointment of a local ruling council. (Guarantee, and,...)

1437Aug-Assam.jpg


This did not sit well with the 'Pink Lotus.' In September one member took matters into his own hands and hired an assassin.

Perundevi found out.

Some time in mid-September, the assassin crept through the strangely underdefended halls of the Palace of Victory and entered the king's bedroom. There he discovered not his target, but Nagendra Maharpelli and seven armed men. The ensuing battle saw "Naggy" fatally poisoned and the assassin captured. He broke under questioning and revealed his employer: Mallikarjuna Dasari, Governor of Madurai.

Maharpelli was given a funeral worthy of his brief, but outstanding contributions to the Empire. Vijaya marched southward at the head of seven thousand men to 'arrest' Dasari. Dasari replied by raising six thousand bandits, most of them soldiers who found themselves without work as Vijaya's reign turned peaceful. (Ecorcheurs: Forcibly disarm = 6,000 Revolutionaries)

Through the autumn Dasari's renegade army turned on his own people by stealing food and supplies for the upcoming campaign. Dasari encouraged his 'Lotus' allies to take to the field. By now Sri Viri Varma, former rajah of Travanacore and now governor of Malabar, had taken full control of the 'Pink Lotus' and declined the invitation. He reasoned that Vijaya had access to advanced intelligence but did not yet know the extent of the conspiracy against him nor most of its members. Indeed, far better to disgrace Vijaya than turn him into some kind of martyr.

On December 22, Dasari met Vijaya south of Tamil Kongu on an open field. Dasari's bandits advanced en masse with footsoldiers in the fore and up to 1,000 horsemen in reserve. The emperor deployed his men on a wide front declining to keep a reserve and split his banner of horsemen to snipe at the flanks.

Vijaya's men enveloped Dasari's before they could fully deploy. The bandits' cavalry chose not to help their friends and simply faded away - with their commander. The leaderless footsoldiers surrendered en masse in half an hour's fighting. Within the next two days Dasari's cavalry abandoned their commander. Three days later Vijaya's soldiers trapped him in a commoner's hut.

And set it on fire.
 

Enewald

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Do not listen to that woman. She must be lying. :p

Nice surprise!
 

naggy

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Why does a Hindu event affect Papal Influence? :confused:
 

unmerged(59077)

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As I said, I like this Vijaya. He's only cruel to those that really ask for it, and piracy, that's really low :p

Good job on seizing the coasts and PU with Assam. Soon, Shining Victory of Hinduism shall spread over the subcontinent. :D
 

unmerged(58610)

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The empire grows .. pirates and pink lotus. Not quite the growth I was hoping for, but still ... Shame about Naggy.

The King is married. Bet that doesn't stop his trysts.

Just what does a Personal Union get you?
 

naggy

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morningSIDEr

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This resulted in what experts call a 'dogpile.'

I liked this line. Clearly Paradox Interactive forum users are indeed experts!

Very good update.
 

unmerged(58610)

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An excuse? They exist .. they have weapons of mass destruction -have you seen what elephants do?

Ah Naggy, you're just sad you've been assassinated.
 

CatKnight

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Enewald: This game's full of surprises!

naggy: RIP :)

dinofs: No one expects the Papal Inquisition!
Hm..that didn't sound right.

RGB: Maybe not so soon

Chief Ragusa: Things are about to get complicated.

naggy: :D

blsteen: Vijaya's developing a small vicious streak. Let's find out why.

morningSIDEr: That line didn't do the 'fourth wall' any favors, but I rather liked it as well. I saw that Khandesh army coming towards mine and thought 'When did they DoW me?' So I looked....and saw they were more or less on my side. :eek:

Chief Ragusa: Hm...good point. We may have to do something about those EMDs...
 

CatKnight

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Vijayanagarflag.png

Chapter V: Vijaya I
Part 4: Mister Mom (1438-1440)


The Evil We Do

Thomas Fuller (1608-1661) said:
"Cruelty is a tyrant that's always attended by fear."

By late 1437 Vijaya knew he'd earned a powerful enemy. The 'Pink Lotus,' a loose cabal of local and disenfranchised aristocrats along with disaffected governors and commanders, fought a subversive war with pirate and bandit proxies. One radical, Mallikarjun Desari, tried to assassinate him then rose in open rebellion only to be savagely put down.

The average member of the 'Lotus' did not seek Vijaya's death or exile. Humiliation certainly, for the large number of women he'd enjoyed over the years who rightfully belonged to husbands or families. Forced to beg for help perhaps, for in the last few years Vijaya didn't even consult with his own advisory council let alone the nobles and governors who actually ran the Empire. Abdication or death? No. For all of their rajah's vices, he had strengthened the Empire.

This lack of resolve hurt the 'Lotus,' who couldn't agree on a goal beyond vague harassment. This exacerbated further when Sri Viri Varma, former Rajah of Travanacore and de facto leader of the cabal, passed in July 1438. (Furious Aristocrats back to Disgruntled)[/yellow] If not for the events of the next few years, the Pink Lotus would have simply faded from history.

Even as his enemies' resolve weakened, however, Vijaya grew more paranoid and more prone to overreact. Desari wasn't the last to die by fire: His soldiers herded bandits operating in Tiruchchirapalli that winter into a barn and burned them. Vijaya made full use of his wife's growing list of informants, and though he never had a solid lead on the Pink Lotus (precisely because their operations were winding down,) he persecuted an array of heretics and dissidents without trial nor mercy.

At first glance this activity seems out of character. During his earlier campaigns Vijaya displayed the energy and resolve to kill or displace his enemies and force their surrender, but this steady descent into savagery was new. Perhaps he hoped to frighten the cabal into submission. The 'why' slowly became clear:

1438Heir.jpg


Something was very, very wrong with young Mallikarjuna.

Due to the passage of time it's difficult to be certain what ailed him. In modern terms we might describe him as 'developmentally challenged' or diagnose him with some type of autism. At the time, all they knew was that Mallikarjuna wasn't growing mentally or emotionally as quickly as expected. He said his first words at age three or four. By six his tutors abandoned teaching him the several languages a successful emperor needed in southern India and focused on Kannadan, the 'common' language of Imperial government officials. That this isolated him further from the Telegu people around him never occured to anyone.

Perundevi, the boy's marginal mother, spared no affection or attention for him. She never carried him. They could barely communicate, as she'd learned Telegu and only enough Kannadan to manage her husband's clandestine affairs. Mallikarjuna seemed to be a slow, clumsy oaf prone to tears or tantrums for no reason, and if there was anything she despised it was stupidity. Her only recorded public fight with her husband came that summer when she asked how 'that child' could possibly protect her people, and would it not be better to appoint (or create) another heir?

Vijaya I said:
I know what you see when you look at him. I know what others see. I see something different.

You say he is a fool. I say he has the fire and intensity of his fathers. I have seen it in his eyes. You say he is unfit to rule. I say his blood makes him fit. More importantly, the gods knew when placing his atman (soul) that he would be required to lead. They believe he is fit to rule. That is all the counsel I need or desire.

I do not know why he does not see the world or feel as we do. Perhaps it is his karma. Perhaps it is *my* karma. I do know this: He has been given any number of gifts that will help him succeed. Whatever the gods have forgotten or withheld, I will provide.

Vijaya's attention turned inward as he focused on his son and destroying those he projected to be Mallikarjuna's future enemies.

Surprisingly, it worked well and went far towards soothing a generation of ruffled feathers. With his focus on Vijayanagara and the armies quiet, local control passed back to the appointed governors and commanders as well as feudal landholders. Piracy didn't die, but it did stabilize allowing the few remaining merchant houses to reliably trade through southeast Asia. People quietly applauded Vijaya's new focus despite occasional draconian tendencies. (Event: Encouraging Message - due to my falling Infamy)


Mistakes

Mallikarjuna was a difficult student, not only due to his lagging language skills but because it was almost impossible to hold his interest for longer than a few seconds. Swamis attempted religious discussions, scholars talked about government, politics and history, and commanders talked about the glories of battle and tactics. A frustrated Senapaati Mayekar once remarked:

Harihara Mayekar said:
I would sooner try to teach a rock. Half the time he sits there like a wall, and the other half he flits about like a damned butterfly. You would get better results commanding the river to flow upstream.

Being appointed one of Mallikarjuna's tutors became a display of Vijaya's greatest trust ... and an exquisite punishment.

In late 1438, however, he showed signs of shaking off whatever ailed his young mind. That summer a traveling show of Arabs requested and received permission to perform outside Vijayanagara's city walls. Soon a small town of multi-colored tents and streaming banners filled the countryside. Jugglers and acrobats showed their skills, then two teams of warriors squared off in a mock melee. None of this impressed Mallikarjuna who took more interest in the ropes and wooden supports holding the tent up.

Then the animals came: Mostly local, all trained. Tigers, bears, dogs and a leopard all performed for the crowd and the young heir watched intently.

He wanted them.

It took three days for him to gather the relevant data from surprised and confused tutors as well as trainers from the proto-circus. Mallikarjuna then made a coherent, if somewhat exuberant and rambling, pitch to his father based on the virtues of excitement and naked desire.

Vijaya refused.

1438Jul-ExoticZoo.jpg


For a man who so easily gave in to his own desires, it must have been particularly painful to say 'No.' Only in the last few years did he display the least understanding of restraint. His nod to prudence in this case was based on Imperial finances: Only now, years after peace, were the coffers filling. (Mission after Gujarat War: Accumulate money) Purchasing the animals would have undone all that work, and while Vijaya wasn't above killing or persecution, it never occured to him to simply take them.

The Arabs left the next day. Mallikarjuna once more sunk into his private hell.

By the dawn of 1440 Vijaya's financial efforts paid off. (Completed mission. +10d) Careful reinvestment in the Imperial infrastructure led to improved confidence from wealthy (albeit still wary) aristocrats and merchants. They in turn put more of their money into the economy in the form of purchased materials. This required laborers and sailors to move the goods and therefore opened new markets for both necessities (food, clothing and the like) as well as finished goods. Merchants filled this void by paying struggling families to gather the necessary materials and create these finished goods. As they emerged from poverty they to sought these small luxuries and the effect snowballed through Vijayanagara. The cottage industry was born. (Production-4)

Initial efforts focused on the richest Imperial cities in Bangalore and Kongu, with plans for Madras and possibly Goa. It may be surprising to learn Vijayanagara was never considered, but the Imperial capital's emphasis on choosing and fortifying a defendable position left it resource poor and so difficult for these cottage 'industrialists' to prosper.

Nonetheless this steady increase in wealth through much of Imperial society pleased the monarchists who praised Vijaya's reign. (National Pride: Monarchists Pleased. +1 Prestige)

There really wasn't much to be pleased about, for Vijaya still remained obsessed with finding his son's would be enemies. He focused once more on Gujarat and rich trading center. With the Deccan Sultanates humbled and both Gondwana and Orissa crippled, he believed the Gujarati to be Vijayanagara's greatest threat. (New Mission: Crush Gujarat ... truce won't run out until 1444)

As far as most Hindus were concerned, he couldn't have been more mistaken. During this time the Delhi Sultanate finished crushing Bihar. (Delhi def. Bihar, gains 3 provinces) Among the many rich lands ceded was Mount Varanasi itself.

Varanasi, on the Ganges River in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains, was (is) the holiest site in the Hindu faith as well as the center of the universe in their cosmology. Legend states Shiva himself found the city around 3000 BC and the shrine of Kashi Vishwanath (one of Shiva's manifestations) is here. Hindus are expected to make a pilgrimage at least once in their life and, if possible, pour the ashes of an ancestor into the Ganges River. Bathing in the Ganges remits your sins, and those who happen to die in Varanasi are freed from the cycle of death and rebirth to instantly become one with the universe.

Imagine Mecca in the hand of Christians or Rome under Islamic control, and one has a general idea of the fear, despair and rage that swept through Hindu and Buddhist nations like a hurricane.

If Vijaya noticed that public sentiment instantly shifted to a call to arms, he didn't care. He'd found another beauty, a minor house servant named Daliya. We know the beginning of what happens next and the end, but there are at least three distinct theories to what happened in the middle:

Everyone agrees that Vijaya's marriage cooled considerably over Mallikarjuna, so his roving eye settled on Daliya. He 'conquered' her - or she him - and they began a heated affair.

Legend states that Daliya was an incarnaton of Rati, the goddess of love, desire, lust, passion and sexual pleasure. She came to Vijayanagara to experience her own brand of enlightenment and perhaps enlighten as well. The resulting encounters grew increasingly intense until, in the midst of a powerful orgasm, Vijaya's heart failed. He came back as Pradyumna, the son of Krishna and reborn god of love. A simple variant depicts Vijaya as the love god Kama who sought India for his missing consort, found her and so 'retired.'

A more likely answer, though never proven, is that Perundevi caught her husband in his infidelity and chose to do women (and husbands) a valuable favor by removing him from the equation.

Some also point out that 'Daliya' is potentially an Arab name. Perhaps one of the Islamic states, noting Vijaya's particular Achillies' Heel, infilitrated one or more women into the Imperial palace to seduce him and cripple Vijayanagara.

Regardless, he died and thousands attended an extravagant funeral. Whatever one may say about his sense of morality, Vijaya secured Vijayanagara's southern border and crippled his greatest enemy. The principality of Assam swore fealty to the crown and he was well on his way to revitalizing the economy. Future men would envy his accomplishments, boys would envy other accomplishments, and women would swoon at this Indian version of 'Don Juan.' This was Vijayanagara's golden age.

1440Aug-Regency.jpg


It remained to be seen whether gold could tarnish.

Vijayanagara Empire said:
Population: 2,451,000
Largest City: Madras (68,700)
Religion: Hindu (91%), Sunni (7%), Shiite (1%) Other (1%)
Culture: Tamil (50%), Telugu (24%), Kannada (15%), Other (11%)

Tech: Gov 4, Pro 4, Trd 3, Lnd 4, Nvy 4
Prestige 40, MP 23,786, Gold 68, Stab 3, Infamy 7.7, Inflation 12.0, Legitimacy 30
Army: 23 Footsoldier, 7 Horse Archer
Navy: 3 Carracks, 1 Cog
 
Last edited:

dinofs

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14 years isn't bad, but it's still a shame that he died before his son came of age. (Awful though he may be.)
 

unmerged(58610)

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Well that stinks. One dalliance too many. Now women have too much power in the Empire or is this Perpena and Bast taking an active hand?

That ends the personal union with Assam. Now comes the useless son after the great Emperor.
 

naggy

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That ends the personal union with Assam. Now comes the useless son after the great Emperor.

A regency doesn't necessarily end the PU, and the narrative did say that Assam swore fealty, so I presume the PU remains.
 

unmerged(59077)

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Golden Age already?

That means the future...uh oh.

If there's anyone who ever needed an immortal talking cow's advice, it's that animal enthusiast, Mallikarjuna. I hope he gets it.
 

axzhang

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Definitely the most eloquent way of foreshadowing the 'epic fail' in your next ruler. Awesome.

Also, I chuckled when I read 'Pink Lotus'. Must be my infantile maturity level or something, but there's definitely something very sexual about the cabal.
 

unmerged(59077)

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Also, I chuckled when I read 'Pink Lotus'. Must be my infantile maturity level or something, but there's definitely something very sexual about the cabal.

It must be the way those pink petals...come in...layers...

EU3 - NSFW!