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Wyvern

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This is the story/AAR thread for the multi-player game The Throne of Heaven that will be kicking off in August.

The game planning and discussion thread is in the multi-player forum here. There is still room for one or two authors to join, just post in the MP thread if you're interested or contact me via icq, you must be committed to seeing the game through though and at least a little MP experience is preferable.

Feedback from readers is most welcome in either thread, but the players should keep all their entries in this thread to in character pieces.

I'll be kicking off with the background story to the game, and as players are assigned positions in the game they will hopefully introduce their country/character prior to the game start in August.

So without any more ado, let us begin.....
 

Wyvern

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Rushka my dear child, sit down, and you too Thomsa. You are comfortable? Good, then listen carefully my children for I am about to tell you just as my father told me the legend of the Throne of Heaven.

Brothers they were a long time ago, farmers eking out a living on the endless plain until the drought years struck. First they watched their parents die, a slow and painful death, followed by that of their younger sisters, the twins. They could feel their own mortality approaching now and did the only thing possible, gathering up what meagre belongings remained to them and setting out to seek their fortune in the wider world. Where they travelled and for how long is no longer known but eventually they came upon a priest somewhere amongst the mountains of Tibet who gave them food and water. When they asked the priest his name he said simply that he was called the Guardian of Heaven. The brothers were intrigued as to how he got such a name but all the priest would say was that he was a servant to the most ancient of Thrones.

What Throne? The Kingdom of Bengal to the south was old, but nobody would call it ancient, and Tibet was a land of priests and had no king. All the countries around them were young, constantly warring amongst themselves as dynasties rose and fell. Then one of the brothers remembered back to a story a wandering storyteller had told, a tale about the Throne of Heaven. Could this be the Throne the priest was refering to he whispered to his brothers, though the tale was myth and legend even then. One thing all the storytellers agreed on though was that great wealth and power would accrue to whomever found the throne and sat upon it.

Turning back to the priest they pleaded with him. Where was the throne he served they asked, please take us there that we might serve also, but the old priest simply smiled and shook his head.

In the morning the priest claimed to know not what they were talking about when they pressed him again and eventually the brothers departed with a feeling of dejection. Yet now they had a purpose, a quest; we will find the Throne of Heaven they vowed and there make our fortune.

For many years they scoured the lands seeking out all stories that told of the throne and following up any lead as to its whereabouts, but still the location of the throne eluded them. At length when they were finally beginning to despair of ever finding it Alesso, the youngest had a dream so real that he felt compelled to act on it. It told him to journey to the Valley of the Wolf in the far eastern realm of the Han and it gave directions so clear that he persuaded his brothers to heed his words and journey with him there. After months of travel they found a valley shrouded in mist and nestled in its crook a small temple tended by a lone priest. As they approached the temple they saw the ancient Tibetan priest from their youth sitting at the foot of the temple steps.

“Only the truly virtuous man may approach the Throne of Heaven he told them” when they gathered at his feet, “who amongst you is so virtuous he asked?”

The eldest of the brothers stepped boldly forward and declared he was such a man but the old priest just smiled sadly and shook his head. “No, you leave your seed with the whores of each town yet do not stay to raise a child. To sit upon the throne is to be like a father, you are not the one.”

Another of the brothers then stepped forward, “I am virtuous holy priest. I pray at each temple we pass and share our food with the poor.”

Again the old priest shook his head. “No my son, when you pray you do it to feel superior to your brothers so you can look down on them, and the food you share is always the scraps, never the food from your own plate. You are not the one to sit upon the throne.”

The remaining brothers now stood silent eyeing each other carefully, none willing to claim the right to approach the throne and so risk having their own sins and failings paraded before the others. “Who then amongst us is so virtuous?” they cried, “may none of us approach?”

“I will approach the throne” spoke the youngest, Alesso.

“You?” the eldest brother cried, “what gives you the right to sit upon the throne?” Yet Alesso did not reply and simply looked at the priest.

Finally the priest asked, “And are you virtuous?”

“As virtuous as you old man” Alesso replied “for the voice of God has spoken in my mind and led me here.”

The priest smiled and nodded his head. “You may enter the temple.”

As Alesso ascended the steps his brothers moved to follow but the old priest blocked their way and shook his head. “Only Alesso may enter the temple” he said.

The brothers then fell back a step and began to wail and argue amongst themselves. Alesso is the youngest they said, it should not be he who sits upon the throne, why should the rest of us be denied the riches and power we deserve after all these years of searching?

Turning back to the priest they pushed him aside and began to climb the temple steps. When the old priest tried to stop them they knocked him down causing him to fall and strike his head upon the stone steps, spilling his blood that it should seep into the ancient stone. A tremor seemed to pass through the ground as he died but the brothers ignored it in their eagerness to enter the temple, never looking back upon the fallen priest.

Within the temple were many rooms of splendour, rich tapestries covering the walls and porcelain figures flecked with gold and precious stones standing like sentries along the passageways and outside the doorways. Of their brother Alesso and the throne however they found no sign. From one room to another they searched growing ever more frantic, the inside of the temple seemingly endless in size, until eventually at its deepest core they came upon a great glowing light streaming through a doorway. Approaching the doorway the light slowly dimmed to a tolerable level and there within the room they could see the throne, resplendent in its finery and upon it sat a figure of light, their brother Alesso.

“Oh my brothers” he spoke in a voice of sadness, “all that you dreamed could have been yours but now you have broken the ancient seal and killed the Guardian of Heaven. For such a deed the power and glory of the Throne of Heaven must forever be denied you.”

“Who are you to deny us the wealth and power of the throne” shouted the eldest brother angrily, stepping towards the throne.

“I am now the Guardian of Heaven!” Alesso’s voice cracked out echoing throughout the temple. With a movement of his hand two of the jewelled figures standing in silent attention came to life, their emerald eyes gleaming as they approached to stand to either side of the throne. “You will all go now from here and be thankful for your lives for you have violated this most holiest of places. As brothers of mine though I will not send you off empty handed…”

With the menacing presence of the jewelled guardians to spur them on the brothers were herded from the temple and finally stumbled down its steps falling over one another in their eagerness to escape the inhuman creatures. At the foot of the stairs now rested a wooden chest which when opened proved to be full of golden coins and precious stones, emeralds, sapphires and rubies, wealth fit for kings. The brothers cried out in joy then for it seemed they had gained their fortune after all and would depart rich men.

That was not to be the end of the tale though for greed and envy began to eat at the brothers and they fell to quarrelling amongst themselves over how to split the treasure, the arguments growing more and more heated the further from the temple they travelled until one day it finally fell to blows with the eldest declaring that the treasure should be his to distribute amongst his siblings as he saw fit. That evening two of his brothers fell upon him in his sleep plunging a knife deep into his heart before attempting to flee with the treasure. A ghostly figure however rose up as they attempted to carry the chest from the camp and they fell back with screams and wails of terror rousing the other brothers from their slumber.

When their brothers saw they had been attempting to steal away with the treasure they set upon them with clubs and knives raining down blows until both brothers lay broken and unmoving. The ghostly figure rose up again then, pointing at the two torn and bloodied corpses. Slowly the bodies began to twitch, limbs straightening and life returning to their limbs. From out of the tent of the eldest brother stumbled his bloody corpse and the remaining brothers stood rooted to the spot, now too terrified to run.

“This is your curse” whispered the ghostly figure in a sibilant voice, “to rise again and never know the peace of the grave, to never gain the kingdom of heaven until you’ve atoned for your crime. No blade can kill you nor will you ever feel the passing of time. Food will be like ashes in your mouth and no son will be born of your loins.”

With a rush of wind the apparition dissipated and the brothers were left alone once more. “This is no curse it is the greatest of gifts!” declared the eldest. “We have been granted immortality!” the visibly closing wound upon his chest testament to his claim. Some of the others seemed to agree but many were deeply troubled and fell to wailing and moaning at their predicament.

Trust and brotherhood though had been broken that night and in the morning they all divided the treasure between themselves and went their separate ways. Some attempted to pursue a path of atonement, to gain forgiveness for the death of the old priest. They sought out the wisest of men to see if there was a way to lift the curse but none could offer advice except to say that whoever controlled the throne would surely gain his freedom. The brothers found that they had been changed in other ways besides their seeming immortality. They were not like other men now; they discovered they had gained new powers too. Wherever they went they always knew the location of their brothers, there was a link between them that could not be broken and within their dreams they would talk to one other, some plotting, others just seeking the companionship of lost family.

Not all however were content to pray for forgiveness or live a lonely life, most of the brothers decided to make use of the advantages they had gained to seek out a new life; a life of wealth and power over the lesser men of the world. As the years passed they carved out great kingdoms, extending their will upon their fellow men. The brothers had a common purpose now, to accrue enough wealth, enough power that they could march upon the Throne of Heaven in the Valley of the Wolf and cast down Alesso and thereby regaining their freedom. Distrust remained though for each knew that whoever gained the throne first might well take Alesso’s place and gain dominance over them all, and none were willing to allow that to happen. Each therefore strove to extend his power whilst limiting that of his brothers. Inevitably they fell once more to fighting amongst themselves and their brother Alesso looked on from his throne in sadness.

After many years and many wars the wisest of the brothers discovered that the power of the throne was not infinite, and that their kinship to Alesso seems to grant a portion of the throne’s power to them, especially when they were able to gain dominion over the chosen people of Alesso, those Alesso had picked to help him protect the Throne and guard the Valley of the Wolf. Alesso however was strong and always pushed the brothers back, freeing his people and reducing once more the power of his brothers. And so the conflict has gone on to this day…
 
Jul 24, 2003
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0
Amzad was one of those who decided to use his advantages to gain wealth, power and, above all, glory. Where most of the other brothers concentrated on the sole goal of gaining enough power and wealth to march upon the Throne of Heaven and slay the vile Alesso, Amzad carried in his heart one burning desire, the ambition to become true immortal. Immortal in history, tales, memory and legends.
What use has power, wealth, fortune and even the Throne itself, if your name becomes forgotten by everone? What use has it if no one values your deeds for what they are worth?
Only those men whose names are remembered for the ages to come, by people living in various places, can truly say that they are immortal.
Of course, Alesso has to be cast down as well for this purpose too. Glory for him who gains the Throne. But even more Glory for him who does it in style, by winning battles, by defeating every neighbour and break everyone who opposes him.

Which names are remembered by history, are known by almost everyone, are at the tongue of bards visiting taverns? Of whom are stories told, legends based upon and who are a striking example for everyone?
Are it scientists? Are it craftsmen? Are it artists? Are it writers? Musicans? Criminals?
No. Some of them may have done remarkable deeds, some of them may have created or invented remarkable things, but they are by no means of the same caliber of the true giants of history: they who rule.
They who Rule with exceptional skill and lead their nation to it’s destiny with brilliant leadership.

So, Amzad decided to combine his two goals in becoming a ruler over mere mortals. He would gain the true immortality and eventually acquire the Throne. Alesso would pay for his crimes and justice would be finally done.
Amzad means Glory and he would be worthy to his name.

Now, becoming a ruler over the lesser beings of this earth is not that difficult for an immortal one. It was just a matter of time and patience. Patience to plot, to acquire the necessary wealth and the wisdom to climb the ladders of society and end on top of it.
It was also a matter of carefully deciding who, of all the various people living in the area around the Throne of Heaven, were worthy enough to become servants of Amzad.
The main answer could be found in religion.

Amzad knew many worshipped various Gods. Those were almost useless for his goal. If one worships more then one God, Amzad would in the end just be one of those. Perhaps the most powerful one, but not the only one.
There is less glory in being the first amongst others then in being the only one.
So, it had to be one of the muslim tribes, for they worshipped just one God, Allah and were fanatic enough to die for their young religion.
Unfortunately, it would take a while before the people would recognize Amzad as that One God, but as mentioned before, Amzad had patience.
In the meantime, he could present himself as Allah’s servant, gifted with immortality and great powers. Others had done that before and it granted them with a rabble of fanatic believers. A solid base for rulership and power.
For the eye of the world, Amzad would be Allah's humble servant and only submit to him.

Amzad wanted a base of power far away from the Throne, Alesso would then ignore him and concentrate on his brothers in the neighbourhood. Of course, this involved the risk of one of the others defeating Alesso and seizing the Throne, but Amzad knew Alesso’s powers were formidable and he would not be defeated easily. Amzad could in the meantime concentrate on his own neighbours and steadily grow in power. When the time was ready, he would march on Alesso. But that had to wait at least a few decades.
So, which area to choose? Or, where do muslims live and is it far enough away from the Throne?
Arabia seemed to be too far away and even Persia was. Therefore, it had to be in India, far away, close enough. A rich penisula and very suitable as a base of power.
The Muslim Faith pervaded India via the legendary spice route and the Indian Ocean. Their influence on India was already tremendous and would only grow. The Arabs, a noble tribe of fierce warriors and smart traders, made long halts on Indian coasts. Their vessels reached the shores of Gujarat and Malabar.
During these sojourns, Muslim seafarers had relation with women of low caste, who alone were prepared to cook their food and be their servants. Their children belonged to their mothers, who received certain material benefits, provided they raised them in the Islamic faith. This was how Muslim communities sprang up in the course of time on the periphery of the vast Brahminic and Buddhist empires.
Amzad watched this closely, steady waiting for his time to come. Would this small muslim community provide the base of a strong nation, ruled by him?
After a good while, Islamic expansion, which had remained marginal until then, consolidated by the end of the so called medieval times. Mosques were build and Koranic schools erected in the ports of Western India. Buddhist merchants lost their place to Muslims in Karnataka, Kerala and the Coromandel. But still, the power of the Muslims in the coastal areas was too small to be fitting.
This pacific propagation of the Muslim religion in the coastal regions took totally indepentend place of the Turko-Afghan incursions, which resulted in the subjugation of Delhi during the same period. During the fourteenth century the Muslim invaders swept through the entire penisula, cleary demonstrating the power of this new belief. In this time, among others, the sultanate of Bengal was born and one of Amzad’s brothers was the driving force behind that. Amzad knew that Bengal, while close, was not the right choice to rule over.
Hindu and Jain rulers, spurred by the will for survival, united under the tutelage of the Rajas of Vijayanagar. Of course, one of Amzad’s brothers as well, the fool. Hindu was not the way to go.
There was also the sultanate of Delhi, one of the most powerful. It was founded by Iranized Turks at the turn of the thirteenth century. Delhi determined the political geography of the region, after they regained power after the sacking of the great city by Timur. After that sacking, a great power vacuum existed, quite quickly filled by another brother of Amzad, one of the more smart ones, for Delhi might very well hold the key to the dominance of the penisula. Vijayanagar and Bengal were both smaller then Delhi.
But Delhi drawed a lot of attention, something Amzad could not use. Too many would plot against Delhi and cause it to decline.

The Mughals, who recently arrived from Central Asia, via Afghanistan seemed now the obvious choice. The Mughals were descendants of Genghis Khan, the Greates Warrior of all and a good example of a true immortal one. Afghanistan was in the direct sphere of influence of the Mughals and Kabul the prime city of the Mughal empire. The Mughals had Persia as a neighbour, a remarkable peaceful country and could raid into India quite easily. In the north there were the Uzbeks, a weak tribe. The Mughal empire was therefore by far the beast candidate for Amzad’s plans. No strong neighbours in the north and east, nor in the south. A solid base for raids in the territories of his brothers and ready to be ruled by a man with an iron fist.

By the year of 1490, Amzad had established himself as the sole ruler of the Mughal territory. The Mughals were ready to thread in the light and enter the area with all their force, now the necessary social and military reforms were done. The Mughals did not like India, the luxuriant vegetation and architecture frightened them. Nevertheless, they were also drawn to India for its riches and for the power that it afforded them.
The Mughals, due to a combination of fear and greed, were easily persuated by Amzad in a jihad against India.

And his brothers would soon know it.
 

Peter Ebbesen

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A Demon on the Run
In which Gothmog narrowly escapes a well deserved fate


As he runs down the corridor of elsewhere, the ice snapping at his feet, his flame flickers ever weaker. He came so close! It is most infuriating! With the power of the world behind him, he would have been able to withstand the Wardens, when they finally united to recapture him, but it was not to be. Cursed be Pi-Low and Elderan, who called the Wardens rather than face annihilation like the traitor Karmulek. Though his flames are dampened now, his hatred burns as fiercely as ever, and it will sustain him.

He will never give up, never surrender.

He runs faster, dodging a vortex of the infinite, as the Wardens find his trail again, yet a few are ahead of the pack, and it is they who are flailing him with the icy winds of death. An opportunity. A snap, a turn, and a Warden is destroyed by his will and his good black axe, but the Warden manages to drag the axe with him into oblivion, and there are so cursed many of them.

That was... Humiliating.

He runs faster across the vaults of heaven, and the Wardens follow in his wake, yet he has gained a small advantage, a brief time within which to act, and act he does.

From the world below a few bright souls are lit with anger. Human anger, to be sure, and none to rival that of the Valaraukar, but impressive nevertheless. Fixated on their tiny mortal concerns though they may be, he knows their type well. They seek dominance and power.

He can offer both.

Mortal fools have often sought power outsides themselves, and the most unfortunate of them are heard.

He offers his flames. He offers his shadows. He offers his powers. He asks for nothing but the body of a slave to inhabit and the promise of sacrifices in his name in years to come, sworn on the name of his master.

His offer is accepted.

In such pacts, betrayal is the name of the game, and as his bright spirit finds its new home, he is unsurprised to find the slave lame, deaf, dumb, tied down to a dark altar, poisoned with a slow poison, and strongly guarded. It was only to be expected.

As for the mortal, or very nearly so, who bid fair to become his master, he revels in his power, he glories in his mastery of flames and shadows, however feeble, and he leaps across the heavens with joy in his newfound power and powerful body. Fooled the demon he has, and the power is his to enjoy. None of his brothers on the earth below can withstand him now.

And whom are those weak lights moving across the sky? Allies, or future slaves? Time to try the full extent of his powers!

As the mortal fool is blasted to oblivion by the Wardens, HE moves from the body of the slave to the body of master. A much better body, all things considered, and its weak powers will augment his own, so sorely depleted by the flight and by the necessary sacrifice staining the heavens above.

He orders the guards, his guards, to slay the Demon trapped in the slave, for he has now harnessed its powers, and if they notice the weak flickers of fire that seem to cling to the body of their master, and if his shadows are slightly deeper, they say nothing. Truly, their master is THE MASTER, and the one brother who will ascend to the Throne of Heaven. As they cut down the soulless slave, they praise the good gods of the skies and the mountains that they serve the good MASTER rather than his treacherous kin, who would deny him his birthright.

He scans the heavens and allows himself a moment of contemplation. That was just a bit too close for comfort. Perhaps it is time to lie low, bide his time, make alliances, and, in general, avoid exertion? Just for a millennium or two?

His nature rebels at the very thought. Curse such weakness! They are all the result of the degenerate times he lives in, unlike the good old days, when the world was young and he was the captain of his kin. Those times are long past and will not return until great Melkor returns from his prison beyond the walls of the world, in the Timeless Void, as he will in his time, come the day.

He rededicates himself to his master and feels his fires deepen, though they remain dreadfully shallow still, and he sends out tendrils of the weak power inherited from the mortal to seek out his competitors, the kin of his body… Allies, enemies, or food? Time will tell. For now, he will be their friend… Their BROTHER.

He laughs, and if the laugh carries a slight edge of madness, who can blame him?
 
Last edited:

ForzaA

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om-symbol.jpg
I like books :)
This time, I quote and/or use ideas from "the Years of Rice and Salt" by Kim Stanley Robinson- hope I won't spoil anything for someone reading the book



Traveling through empty land.
Clouds hazy, moon waning and chill.
Sky, frost-colored, cold to look at.
Wind piercing. Sudden terror.
A thousand trees roar in the sparse woodland:
A lonely monkey cries on a barren hill

He had travelled far and wide, through dense forests, sickening wastes, wading through rivers where there were no bridges, climbing hill and mountain, looking for a way to end his misery. He drank the strongest poisons, was sentenced to death a few times, only to be chased off after he rose up again. Year upon year he travelled, never ceasing in his attempts to end his curse.

That is, untill he met Iwang. Iwang was but a humble merchant from Tibet, but his ideas, his beliefs, and his views upon life were so simple, yet so sufficient to have him lead a happy life. Bistami found back atleast some joy in life from his travellings with Iwang, and most importantly, from their discussions.

A cause

Bistami was dieply grieved when Iwang died, but he didn't fall back to his life of misery. Instead, deeply influenced by Iwang's ideas, he went on a search again. This time, he was searching for a cause, a great cause, a cause that he could dedicate his life, and his powers, to. After a time, his travels brought him to the Deccan. The beliefs of these people were remarkably similar to those of Iwang, despite the large distance that separated Iwang's usual trading routes. Bistami decided to stay for a while, and try and find a scholar, or a group of scholars, to share his concerns with.

However, the relative peace that Bistami now enjoyed was shortlived, as the muslims living to the north attempted to impose their religion upon the people of the Deccan. Having little to lose, he joined the able-bodied men of his village, when they marched off to fight the Muslims. At Kammitadurga, the people of the Deccan decisively beat back the Muslims. Bistami's courage, most likely because of his immortality, attracted the notice of one of the captains of Harihara's army. In the following years, Bistami slowly rose in rank in the army.

Avatar of the Gods

However, by this time, his failure to age with his fellow soldiers and officers, had attracted some attention. Fortunately for him, his success in the various wars and skirmishes with the Muslims had earned him a great reputation, and the people hailed him as a saviour. In the end, he was declared an avatar of the gods, sent to earth to help the Hindus retain their culture and religion. He was placed in command of the entire army, and his advice was usually followed even in other matters. Eventually, for lack of a successor, Bistami was appointed to rule over the free Hindu people, united in the kingdom of Victory, Vijayanagar. By this time, most of the Deccan was a part of the kingdom of Victory, but Bistami realised that Vijayanagar could not hope to stand against the might of the Muslims forever. Therefore, he planned to unite, peacefully when possible, by force when necessary, all Hindu people he could find, and hopefully drive back the Muslims oppressors far enough to leave the kingdom of Victory to it's own faith.
 
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Ilyar has always been very envious of his brothers. Even if the fortunes of his brothers weren't so great, Ilyar always saw something to be spiteful about.

After the events in the Valley of the Wolf Ilyar, finally separated from his brothers, travelled east until he encountered the Great Ocean. There he used his invulnerability to force the hapless crew of a trader junk into servitude. Having no obvious destination, Ilyar ordered the crew of the junk to take him to their homeland, which happened to be the sultanate of Malacca. After arriving there, Ilyar quickly navigated his way into the sultan's court and with his uncanny insight into management, it was easy to get appointed as the grand vizier of the sultan.

As years passed, Ilyar gained more and more influence over the matters of state in Malacca, which didn't please everyone. Especially the son of sultan and heir apparent despised the foreigner and envied his influence. With an ambitious plan, the prince and his retainers attacked Ilyar and stabbed him several times during a council meeting, only to be horrified by Ilyar rising up after being mortally wounded several times and laughing at the prince's foolishness. Ilyar then proceeded to slay the prince, his retainers, the sultan and all of the council. He then took sultan's turban, the signifier of his power over Malacca and proclaimed himself as the new and eternal sultan.

Ilyar was finally on his way to become more powerful than his brothers ever had been or even would be...
 

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A Tale of Boredom, or how I conquered Delhi.

The tale of the conquest of Delhi, is unlike any other in history. Where as all my other brothers gained control of their countries in amazing and dashing ways, with much bloodshed, or clever manipulation of local politics, or marriage into the royal families, followed by the usual bout of poison, falling off tall building, or being attacked by wild animals in the most unlikely of places (How did those hounds end up in the royal privy? I never knew). The tale of Delhi and it’s changing of rulers is completely different.

It’s also rather boring.

There was no bloodshed.

There was no poison

There was no clever scheme that ended up with the hand of a fair maiden and half the kingdom (with the other half coming to him because dear old Dad had a nasty fall, along with all the other brothers, cousins and anyone else with a slight claim to the throne)

No the conquest of Delhi by this brother was rather more pedantic. He had travelled as far away from the Throne as he could get, going in so many twist and turns that by the time he got sick of travelling, he had gone so far, and taken so many turns, that he know longer knew where the bloody place was. Which was all well and good, if he never saw the damn Throne, then he would be a happy man, a happy man who would live forever.

Forever.

That is rather a long time.

Perhaps a little bit too long.

Sure, people say they want to live forever, but it really starts to get old after a couple of centuries, especially when you are only moderately rich. What were a few millennia going to be like?

So after two centuries of living in Delhi, this brother decided to make a change. And as it would happen, Delhi was in a bit of an up roar at the moment. What with those damn Mongol Horde related gits, the Mughals on the Western border and as luck would have it, the entire royal family deciding it would be better if they went for a holiday with the entire treasury, 50 war elephants and enough troops to make sure that they would never have to worry about anything again.

And so, like any good citizen would do, this brother made a few suggestions, which became a few orders, which became people bowing down to him and offering him the throne of Delhi and their ever lasting loyalty.

I told you it was boring, but would you listen? See kiddies, all you have to do is act like your in charge and people will fawn all over you.

And so it came to be that this Brother was in charge of the wealthy nation of Delhi. Now all he needed was a new name, Qutb-ud-din Aibak sounded nice. With a new name, Qutb decided that the acquisition of the Throne of heaven would be nice, so he could finally end that pesky long life thing after a few more centuries, just to make sure he had made the right decision of course…
 

Swuul

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In the shadows of the forest that flanks the crimson plain by the side of the the Valley of the Wolf, beneath the Moon, I crept stealthily along the trail of a shadowy form.

My name is Alvaro. I do not know how old I am, but I do know only Alesso is younger than I of the brothers. I once was a hunter and tracker, but I barely remember those days now.

Once we had been give the horrible curse, I was not eager to build up my wealth and power. I was eager to find redemption.

I had returned to the Valley of the Wolf after long journeys. I wanted to meet my brother Alesso. But he refused to see me.

There was another way into the Temple. There had to be. I had stayed in the shadows very long, years had passed. I had been waiting and searching for the other way. Tonight I again was like a cat, following a man who I suspected did use a secret way into the Temple. Several times I had observed him leaving the city of the servants, and later return invigorated.

The rays of the Moon, swinging low across the valley, touched his smooth hide. Twice he turned his head back toward the forest, after the manner of one who is upon an evil errand, though he must have had no idea I was following him.

I did not dare follow him there beneath the moonlight, since it best suited my plans not to interrupt his--I wished him to reach his destination unsuspecting, that I might learn just where that destination lay and the business that awaited the night prowler there.

So it was that I remained hidden until after he had disappeared over the edge of the steep bank. Then I hastened across the open after him. At the crest of the bank I did take a look. I did see he had crossed a small river in raft. He did look at all directions, then sat down and made a fire. From his sack he picked up a flute, and began to play a monotonous tune.

I dared not follow across the stream, for he most surely would have seen me. Instead I stopped close to the opposite wall beneath an overhanging mass of rock that cast a dense shadow beneath it. Here I could watch him without danger of discovery.

As I lay there beneath the dark rocks I noticed there was suddenly a strong breeze. The wind grew stronger by every passing moment. I edged farther into the shadow that I might find a hold upon the bank; but, though I proceeded several yards, I touched nothing; and then, finding that I would soon reach a point from where I could no longer see the man, I was compelled to remain where I was, holding my position as best I could, because the wind had already grown into a storm.

To my suprise I did see the man playing his flute in dead calm. Around him a storm raged, but he was sitting by his fire and playing his flute without the slighest breath of wind touching him.

While I was still speculating upon the phenomenon, the man suddenly put his flute away, and stood up. He turned his front towards me, altough I was sure no man could possibly see me in the shadows, and spoke with a booming voice: "Alvaro, there is no other way!".

Baffled I couldn't understand how the man could see me. I took a look around me, and I was in total darkness in the shadow. I turned my look back at the man, but he was not there anymore!

I once was known as the best hunter and tracker. Yet I couldn't find the man anymore.

After a few weeks I gave up. The man simply had vanished. I went to west, and claimed the poor land of the Chagatai as my own. My other brothers had claimed more wealthier places, but I wanted to stay as close as possible to the Valley.

I *will* find the way.


The previous text has been heavily influenced by the the first chapter from the book "Warlord of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
 
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om-symbol.jpg
I like books :)
This time, I quote and/or use ideas from "the Years of Rice and Salt" by Kim Stanley Robinson- hope I won't spoil anything for someone reading the book



The two men dismounted and stood there. Guards came out of the tent, drawing aside the flaps of the doorway and standing at attention ready with drawn bow.


A change of plans

The messenger entered the tent, looking most unhappy."what is it?" Bistami demanded.
"Mahmûd Shâh II has replied to your request, milord. He says that no man shall be allowed to leave his lands" The messenger seemed to shrink at every word.
"So, he will not let go of the Hindus in his domain? Very well then, a different way shall be found." Bistami turned to his generals, "And I suppose no news from Mysore, either?"
"It is as you say, however, if we act swiftly, we might still be able to unite the Deccan afterall."
"The plans are ready?"
"They are indeed, milord"
"Very well then, we march"

Looking over his troops Bistami was convinced these troops would suffice for the campaign he had in mind, however, they would not suffice forever, and he quickly ordered more troops to be armed and trained to support further campaigns. This campaign, and the events following it, would most likely determine much of the future of the faith he had chosen to champion.

It was there, overlooking his troops, that Bistami realised that his share of the treasure, that he had hidden so long ago, could prove very useful in the future. Vijayanagar was not poor, but extra funds would always come in handy, not to mention a certain artifact he had later recognised in a book, but for now, the treasure was out of reach. Nevertheless, it was something he would have to keep in mind.
 

devil

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Muhammed of Brunei

In the Mind of a Brother.

Evil, like chaos, is one of the fundamental forces of Creation, manifest
in both the macrocosm of the wide world and the microcosm of the
individual soul. As chaos gives rise to possibility and imagination, so
evil engenders strength and will. It makes sentient beigns aspire to
wealth and power. It enables them to subjugate, kill, rob and deceive.
It allows them to do whatever it required to better themselves with
never a crippling flicker of remorse.​

And They're Turning on Each Other


Muhammed was the first that took to seas, the had allways known the key to wealth and power was a strong navy, and the skill to trade. His knew his evil brothers would try and aspire aswell, but some where folish. The elder brothers where warriors, it guided them in every decision, they would surely try and establish huge empires, using the sword. "How pityful" he thought.
"When will they learn..."
"Surely when I take the Throne of Heaven, they can only submit to me!"


He had sailed south for many days, until he found the island of Brunei. Discovering brunei was allready a flourishing naval nation with proud traditions. Muhammed had decided he would make this his new home. After landing in the capital city, he devised his plan.

Brunei was ruled by a old sultan with no heir, certainly a easy target. He quickly became the most trusted advisor to the King. For years he poisoned the mind of the Sultan, secretly he had slowly but steady gained more and more power, Brunei was shaping to be a great power that would rule the seas. When the old man finally passed away, Muhammed had ofcourse made sure he was sole heir to the throne. The people had by then, allready convinced themselves he was a profet of Allah. He hadn't aged a bit since he arrived, infact he looked younger, his servents took good care of him, of course his personal harem could have something to do with that =).
 
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Swuul

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The Mughal warriors, armed only with their kind of short-handled war-axe, were helpless beneath the savage mounted Chagatai men at close quarters; and at a distance the Chagatai warriors sharp arrows did their horrible work among the Mughal ranks. And so it came, what with the ferocity of the cavalry and the numbers of the bowmen, that at last the Mughals fell back, until their retreat turned into a rout.

The sounds of conflict died in the distance. On the field did Amzad of the Mughals lie. I bent down by my brother.

"Why brother did you have to attack me? You will rise again; can we not live in peace?" I said to the corpse of my brother.

---

I was dead. After I had added the lands of the Uzbeks to my rule, my brothers Amzad and Aibak had betrayed me again. My armies had fought horrible fights, winning battle after battle, but in the end the combined might of my brothers had succeeded to get me cornered. And I was dead, yet I could think.

Then there was an instant of unthinkable cold and utter darkness.

Suddenly a qualm of nausea swept over me and my senses swam.

Instantly my brain cleared. To my horror my muscles refused to respond to my will and I could hear awful moans and rustling of the dying men around me. I made the a mighty and superhuman effort to break the bonds of the strange anaesthesia which held me, and there was a sharp click as of the sudden parting of a taut wire, and I stood without form beside the staring, lifeless thing that had so recently pulsed with the warm, red life-blood of Alvaro.

Without form I drifted. I found the spirit of my brother Amzad. Without speech we agreed this had to end. Without speech Amzad agreed it was wrong he had attacked me. Without speech I agreed Mughals should have free passage through Chagatai lands.

I decided to take the form of Alvaro again, because I had no choice.




The above text includes quotes and modified quotes from the Barsoom books by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
 

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1492-1519 First Divination

Brother Muhammed uses his divination skills, and collects the stats and facts of each brother: Read more here


XX-1519a.jpg
 

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Muhammed of Brunei

Brunei Development in the Period 1492-1519​

- Muhammed receiving the report from his Grand Vizier-​

Honorable Sultan, here are the newest income figures, after your divination for the year 1519.

post-4-1092055888.jpg


post-4-1092055945.jpg


Interesting… China is very rich, Alesso is doing well on the Throne. It must be even more profitable to hold it than expected! :eek: After our trade drop, our new allies in mataram are leading in trade income. Along with Mataram we made the largest increase relative to 1492. Thank God China is so rich, otherwise Brunei could become a object of envy.

True, Sultan, we did well increasing both the disposable and total income with a high yearly percentage. But Mataram did better, though compared to Mughals they certainly did nothing at all spectacular, how can our dear brother accept a Income drop! :eek:. We noticed Alesso and BrotherX is collecting the benefits of good investments in manufactories, and have started our own, 1 refinery has allready been build. But China and Vientiene still leads with huge research incomes.

Good to know, but I expect we can do better than that, I want to see a manufactory in every core land before the end of next financial period!! But tell me, how much did that refinery help our trade technology? and how good is our techs compared to the others?

Great Sultan, I can proudly announce Brunei is very close to advancing in trade tech. We are on par in all others once we lead in trade technology, we can increase spendings on other areas. A manufactory program will be started asap!

Well, I am afraid it will be too late, but nevertheless, the sooner the better, we will need it if we are to stay on par with our southern neighbour and the mighty alesso in China

I am sorry, Great Sultan, I don’t understand, what are you talking about, we are in excellent shape?

No we are not! We are struggling just to maintain our merchants in the world cots. All naval "powers" are in difficult position if someone attacks them. Look at Bengal, he dares to have colonial empire without a navy!!!! :eek: :eek:

Ofcourse I know, I apologise of my ignorance, we will increase spendings on our navy, to triple its size. I would like to point out, the war with Mataram didn't cost us one ship!

Good, thats all for now you are dismissed.

---------------------

Muhammed was indeed pleased, he had done well, allready the second best earner, his brothers where indeed pathetic... First he had taken 5 out of 7 possible colonies in indonesia, letting mataram and Malacca fight about palembang. While the others fought he would get even stronger.

To Eat
To Climb
To Dominate
To Kill
To Become​


After ensuring supremacy on the naval scene, he had allied his two brothers Ilyar and Drake, both where on the right track. Together they would be even stronger. Though sooner or later all would bow to him, it was only a matter of time. For now he would focus on expanding the Fleet and regaining lost trade revenues.
 
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The tale of Sui-cuf-noc​

hell1.jpg
Welcome to Hell- I like to call it home​

When I left the mortal coil I did not think it would end in such a fashion; none of the great thinkers did. Yet there we were- all of us. For our gifts to the world- our intelligence, our reason, and our very virtue- we were thrown into the first circle of hell. We were the virtuous pagans, and we were glad to be there- for we knew what lied below. We lived in the light of reason, yet our world was covered in shadow- a shadow both seen and felt- the shadow of eternal sadness. We were told that the shadow was caused by the absence of god- that we were devoid of his presence, hence devoid of the grace which was the very essence of happiness. We knew it was a lie- we knew how to think for ourselves. And that ultimately was what the problem was, that is why we were there- that is why we were being punished.

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God Declares war on enemy number one​

The truth of the matter is that god fears us- as he fears all of mankind. In his eyes mankind was an accident that was never suppose to occur. We were suppose to remain as docile animals, following our instincts- living, breeding, and dying without conscious purpose. Yet that changed when Lucifer's great revolt distracted God, when he wasn't attentive our primitive simian ancestors went through the step of evolution that produced the first simmering sparks of intelligence. God saw this and was enraged, he knew that this could be his undoing, he knew he had to act decisively- but he could not simply smite our ancestors- that was against the rules, rules set by the universe itself, rules that even he had to obey. He did the next best thing- he tried to cull our species. He sent disease, predators, floods, and even droughts to smother humanity in its infancy. His efforts served only to fan the flames of our intelligence. The weak and stupid died, the smart and strong bred and survived. He tried the opposite approach, he covered the earth in plenty- if the factors that selected for intelligence were removed, he reasoned, then mankind would eventually be eventually dumbed him down. It was too late, by this point mankind itself was the factor selecting for intelligence. God of course took notice of this, he has many negative traits- but stupidity is not among them. He had salvaged his pride by sculpting us into his image but he knew that his time was running out. Mankind had emerged from the crucible of his malice with an intelligence the likes of which the world had never seen- it was only a matter of time before he lost his monopoly on reason, when that occurred it would only be a matter of time before we discovered the earthly source of his power and destroyed him.

God looked down on our ancestors. He watched as we began truly exercising our intelligence. He watched as we tamed fire, he watched as we developed better tools, he watched as we tamed and utilized the power of our fellow animals. It was then that inspiration struck, the foundation of the most insidious, yet brilliant, plan that he had ever had was laid at that very moment. He would utilize mankind as a tool, he would do to us what we had done to his animals. He would enslave us. To this end he constructed a unique virus, it had no have a physical form- it was composed completely of concepts. It was a mind virus and only we were susceptible to it, our greatest strength, language, was its vector. God introduced the specimen and he watched as our contempt for him was turned to adulation, as his potential rivals were turned into worshippers. He had succeeded.

Yet, all was not well. There were those who insisted on thinking and this worried God. He continued worrying right up until a certain Greek philosopher wrote the "rules" guiding reason and logic. Then he watched as those who questioned religion were ridiculed and persecuted- and then he stopped worrying. He knew he was finally safe- he had managed to smother mankind- it would never again be a threat to him. God was pleased- but the universe had a nasty surprise for him. It turns out that he actually had to follow up on those not so genuine promises he made with his religion- it was one of the rules. The good and faithful were admitted into HIS Kingdom, his private sanctuary, heaven, which he now had to SHARE with mortals. God did not like sharing- not power, not glory, and defiantly not his private kingdom- which he had finally gotten just the way he wanted. Yet God had no choice in the matter- rules were rules, and sharing his kingdom was certainly better then oblivion. He took solace in the fact that Lucifer, the attempted usurper, also had to share his kingdom, hell, - but with evil humans and the blasphemers. The humans would serve their time in hell, or stay in heaven until they got bored, upon which they would be reincarnated. All in all, God thought it was a good system- and he believed there was only one thing that could, potentially, muck it up- the exceptionally bright human souls. To stop this, he managed to bend the rules; he managed to get the punishment assigned for the "sin" of reasoning, and not believing that he was the incarnation of virtue and good, to be one Billion years, earth time, on the first level of hell- which for all practical intents and purposes, was eternity.

Those of us on the first level knew this but there was nothing we could do. Everyone had a different method of coping, but we knew we were stuck in this prison of warped space/time. We found ways to pass the "time". Socrates walked around, asking questions in his usual fashion, trying to uncover errors in thought processes and hypocrisy in beliefs; but given the company he was in, he rarely had an success. Plato babbled on about true "perfect" reality, and the origin of concepts, not being heaven, hell, or the material world, but a shadowy reflection of all three; everyone ignored him. Aristotle encouraged us to continue, at all costs, to think, to exercise, and to embody virtue- a virtuous life he maintained, was its own reward. We need not depend upon God for happiness- even in death. I for one agreed with him. Poor Nietzsche took it worst of all, he simply stood there staring into the abyss for years on end; he claimed that if he did it long enough it would eventually stare back. All of us had made, in one fashion or another, peace with our imprisonment- we knew that we weren't going anywhere. It turned out that we were wrong, on the day that terrible day, the day Gothmog made his escape, so did we. The specifics of the escape of Gothmog remain unknown, but when he escaped he sundered the barrier separating the our level of hell and the well of carnation- the very place where new souls were created. Without hesitation, each and everyone one of us threw ourselves into the well and merged with blank souls that were on their way to new human life.

89Godzilla.jpg

No one knows what happened to the 200 lb. Gothmog- but some suspect he may finally have insulted the wrong person.​

The soul I merged with was destined for a small hamlet in China. My name was, ironically enough, "Sui-cuf-noc". When I was born, I already had older brothers, it was not long before I had younger ones as well. As I grew up I enjoyed their company and spent much time with them, truly they were my brothers. They each were all, with two exceptions, brilliant in the mind yet corrupted in the soul. The when Gothmog escaped he had tainted their souls with brutality, lust for power, among many other vices - but let it be said that even knowing that I did my best to guide them. Even my wisdom was not enough, they rejected a virtuous life. .......

As I said earlier, there were two exceptions to the pattern of my brothers. The first of these was BrotherX, he was exceptionally stupid. I knew that this, along with his lust for power, would lead him to a very, very bad end. The other was my brother was Alesso. He refused to be corrupted as his brothers were, yet he too refused my advice. There could only be one reason for this, religion had found Allesso, and he had embraced it . It saddened me to see this, but when I looked upon my other brothers I knew that it was hardly the worst outcome that could befall him. I kept thinking that until that fateful day, the day I looked into his eyes I saw a look of pure serenity- the look of one in communication with God himself.

I did not know what was said between them, but when he awoke from his meditative prayer Allesso spoke to me. He said, "Brother, I know your soul was not blank when you joined us in mortal realm, but this matters not. You have also been our brother, you have always treated us with respect and as equals. You have always lived a virtuous life. It is because of this I break my vow of silence to God himself. Ahead lies a long journey with our fellow brothers. Upon its completion will either be enemies or allies- that cannot be changed." I told him that there was no purpose in discussing now, I knew nothing of the cause of our hostility, it would be best if we awaited our journey's end. It was on that note that we gathered our fellow brothers and set off on our journey, the journey that lead us to the Throne of Heaven.

When I set my eyes upon the Throne I knew exactly what it was. This was the earthly incarnation of his power, the object that the had labored for millennia, nay- epochs, to protect. This was God's Achilles heel. I knew that with it I could liberate mankind from its shackles, but not as long as Alesso protected it. Alesso knew this as well, when we looked upon each other, we understood. We were enemies. I desired the throne and Alesso protected it- there was nothing that could be done.......
 

Wyvern

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Musings from the Throne

The long years roll by and I observe with more than a tinge of sadness the actions of my brothers. Of them all only in Alvaro do I so far see signs for hope, his actions in repulsing the Mughal hordes of Amzad were most gallant. Yet even so he then tinges my hopes with sadness by invading the peaceful nomads of the Uzbeks. Perhaps I can turn him back upon the road to salvation. I send him gifts to rebuild his wartorn lands.

BrotherX who has for some reason forsaken the name granted him by our parents and assumed the strange monokor of Gothmog conserns me the most, for he embodies both subtelty and aggression in one package. BrotherX has always struck me as too aggressive in the past, though his aggression was always combined with acts of stupidity. His actions of the last few decades have been anything but. This is most strange. I fear I will be forced soon to chastice Gothmog, for I will acknowledge his name as such if he feels he must call himself so, lest he brings brother Sui-cuf-noc to his knees and so extends him own power too far. With power comes responsibility and none of my brothers so far have shown any. I must take steps to maintain their balance until I am granted a sign. The ghost of the priest haunts me still. When will his vengence be satisfied? When is enough enough?

I have watched the independent kingdoms of the south slowly succumb to the armies of my brethren, soon I fear they will march on the ancient mountains of old. After great pleading on behalf of the Priest King I have acquiessed and granted him my protection even though I am loathed to leave the lands of my people. I have decided to summon an avatar, an Angel of Heaven, to exert my will abroad. The knowledge and wisdom the Priest King protects must not come under the sway of my brothers, they would only abuse it.

Despite my conserns about Gothmog it seems Bistami is emerging as the strongest of my brothers. He has come a long way from the man who fled my southern shores after burying most of his share of the treasure in fear that his brothers would steal it. Will he ever know such fear again I wonder and when will he realise the power of the artifact, the pendant of Olarian, which lies amongst the forgotten jewels?

Of the future I know not what it holds. I will remain at my post fullfilling the vow I made as I knelt before the Throne. The events of the last few decades have shown however that I cannot remain ignorant of the wider world. I must take a more active part, explore distant lands, and somehow, perhaps, guide my brethren back to redemption.
 
Last edited:

Peter Ebbesen

the Conqueror
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A Smouldering Fire
1492-1519
In which Gothmog gets acquainted with his neighbours

Wearing the mantle and seeming of BrotherX is a novel experience. The powers gained, though small, are a worthy addition to his might, in its reduced state.

He sends emissaries to all his new kin, bearing messages of goodwill, and of peace, and he proclaims his peaceful intentions as a matter of course. Not that anybody believes it – apparently BrotherX was a right bastard.

He considers his kin:
  • Alesso the Spineless, Ruler of the Throne of Heaven, do-gooder extraordinaire
  • Alvaro the Horselord, Lover of Horses, Abomination. A man who would do good yet despoils all he touches
  • Amzad the Great Mogul. Rage and ambition burns in his blood.
  • Bistami the Fierce, Lord of the Hindi of the City of Victory
  • Muhammed the Merchant, Sultan of Brunei. A twisted soul, yet powerful
  • Drake the Shipwright, Great King of Mataram. He who would rule the waves
  • Ilyar the Spiteful, Lord of Malacca. Avarice his meat, deceit his drink
  • Kraunak the Golden, Chief Ogler to the Emperor of Nippon
  • Qutb-ud-din Aibak the Bored, sole Lord of Delhi, the tired one
  • Sui-cuf-noc the Wily, the Bengal Tiger

None are trustworthy, few are even remotely honest, and most are insane. Just like the good old days. He will marshal his strength in quiet before he lets it loose upon the world, and though none are trustworthy, some may serve him nevertheless. A true lord is a giver of gifts, for there are only three types of coin that matters in the end: the coin of gold, the coin of loyalty, and the coin of fear.

And thus, when the storms of war break and the Brothers march to war, it is not he in the forefront of the fight. When Bistami fights Sui-cuf-noc and Qutb-ud-din Aibak for the control of India, and when Amzad fights Alvaro on the steppes in mutually destructive wars, he watches and expands slowly into the neighbouring kingdoms.

And unlike the vicious Brothers, when he expands, he does so in a fashion that is deemed, by the mores of the societies, ethical. He arranges royal marriages between flunkies near and far, and he uses the ties of power to claim their throne, though costly it is, and thus shielded he extends his power over the Mekong and later other parts of Indochina.

And he proclaims that all Buddhists must, in the fullness of time, serve his serene nation. It is their destiny.

And when Muhammed of Brunei and Ilyar of Malacca make war upon Drake of Mataram, HE joins in alliance with the Shipwright, and he crushes the armies of Ilyar and forces Ilyar to flee the mainland with the tatters of his army, and he occupies every single of Ilyar’s mainland provinces in a matter of weeks, thereby halting the terrible inquisition of Bangkok and looting Ilyar’s realm. With the balance restored, he graciously allows Muhammed and Ilyar peace in return for Ilyar’s Buddhist provinces, which he so sorely mistreated, and he returns the armies to Luan Prabang.

And the people praise his name, for verily he shone like the sun in battle. The battle light was upon him, and wherever he joined the melee, no enemy could stand against him.

And turns he then his gaze to the west, where Buddhists are oppressed by the wily Sui-cuf-noc, who is fighting Bistami again, and throws he his might against the west. Yet he has acted in haste. Alesso the Meek proclaims himself the protector of Bengal, mistakenly assuming that Sui-cuf-noc is an innocent victim of circumstances, and threatens he invasion of Gothmog’s realm.

A peace is signed with Sui-cuf-noc, whereby his illegally annexed province of Irrawady gains independence as the nation of Pegu, as HE withdraws from the fray, yet Sui-cuf-noc has the last laugh, for Pegu is not truly independent, but a vassal with a puppet government, and HE fumes over the affront.

He broods – and trains the military. No other nation in Asia has troops as good as his. And when, in the fullness of time, Sui-cuf-noc campaigns in far off Egypt, he does not act, but builds the army. And thus it comes to pass that when his mighty army at last invades, Sui-cuf-noc sees the folly of resistance and agrees to give over his two remaining Buddhist provinces to the fair realm of Vientiane under the good rule of BrotherX.

An alliance of Drake, Ilyar, and Muhammed has been formed, which is either a problem or an opportunity for the future, time only will tell.

He laughs, and he laughs loudly.

And he proclaims to his Brothers that, as he is a man of peace, turned to serenity by the warrior monks of Mount Boing, he will change his name. No longer will he be named BrotherX, instead he will be known throughout the world as Gothmog, an ancient name meaning Bringer of Peace.

And he is serene, or at the very least powerful, which is a decent second best.
 
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ForzaA

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om-symbol.jpg
I like books :)
This time, I quote and/or use ideas from "the Years of Rice and Salt" by Kim Stanley Robinson- hope I won't spoil anything for someone reading the book



it brought home to them yet again how insane their opponents were.
Ignorant fanatical disciples of a cruel desert cult, promised eternity
in a paradise where sexual orgasm with beautiful houris lasted
ten thousand years, no surprise they were so often suicidically brave,
happy to die, reckless in frenzied opiated ways that were hard to counter.


Uniting the Deccan.

And so it was that Vijayanagar found itself having to confront both Hyderabad and Mysore, for diplomacy had failed.
And so it would be, Bistami ordered the assault into Hyderabad almost immediately, and Hyderabad's cities swiftly fell to the well trained and motivated armies, led by Bistami himself.
All in all, it took under 10 months to occupy each and every city of importance ruled by Mahmûd Shâh II was occupied by Bistami's troops, and a treaty was signed.
In the meantime, after Hyderabad's main army had been routed, Bistami had moved south, taking with him the elite core of the army.
In Vijayanagar, several thousand fresh recruits joined the army as it moved south, into Mysore. The walls of Mysore proved to be but a nuisance to Bistami's troops, and soon all Mysoran cities were occupied aswell. However, the government proved elusive, angering Bistami to no end. In his anger, Bistami left north again, to subdue the last vestiges of Hyderabad's power. A small army was left behind Mysore to search for the hidden government.

Extra motivated due to Bistami's anger, his army swiftly struck into Hyderabad, and so it was that in october, 1493 *, Hyderabad would only live on in history, if it would be allowed to live on even there. Finally, almost a year later, the Mysoran government was finally apprehended, and was quickly forced to swear fealthy to Bistami although they still lost most of their land. Eventually, Bistami tired of their constant twisting and turning, and demoted them all, incorporating their lands into great Vijayanagar.

The Bengali War

And so all seemed well, but it wasn't, the Bengals, led by Bistami's brother Sui-cuf-noc, continued to antagonise Vijayanagar, first by attacking Odissa, the fair Hindu kingdom on the eastern coast, on the border between Deccan and the Ganges Plain, and secondly by building an outpost right on the border with Vijayanagar, claiming the land was theirs.
After hastened preparations, Bistami and a large force of the finest warriors of the Deccan crossed the border into Bengal. Bistami had contacted his brother Qutb in Delhi, in hopes that he too would attack Sui, but despites Qutb's promises, Bistami was wary. And rightly so, as when the Deccan army had occupied Patna, capital of Bengal, Delhi's troops flooded the border. In a giant pincer movement, Bistami and his crack troops, and an army of freshly recruited troops, led by a man of no particular interest, swept the Deccan clean of Delhi's troops, although Qutb got away with a small contigent. Qutb hastily withdrew, and signed peace.

Unfortunately, Sui had taken the opportunity to retake much of his territory, but Bistami, even more angered when he heard that Alesso had been supplying Sui, struck back, and an alliance was quickly signed with BrotherX, who now styles himself Gothmog, the Bringer of Peace. Although his intervention was shortlived due to Alesso again intervening in affairs he should keep out of, it occupied some Bengali troops for a few precious months. And so it was that Bistami found himself marching again on Patna. The city was yet again captured, but Qutb proved himself even more treacherous than he seemed, as he invaded again. This time, Bistami determined that the loss of a few border towns was not worth abandoning the campaign in Bengal, and so he surrendered these towns to Qutb. Eventually, even Sui could see that he would not be able to keep up the struggle, and he surrendered the contested territories.

The Aftermath

After proving itself a force to be reckoned with, diplomacy for Vijayanagar proved a lot easier. Isam Chin-Qun, Bistami's most trusted diplomat, was able to sign a treaty with Qutb, in which the disputed border region would be returned to Bistami, as soon as he could miss the needed garrison.
Isam Chin-Qun also managed to conclude a treaty Sui, but Sui treacherously came back on his word after consulting with his priests, and so it seems likely that Vijayanagar will have to march once again on Patna, despite Alesso once again siding with the oppressor Sui.

After consulting with his advisors, Bistami has also decided to build a few outposts along the coast and on the Island of Lanka, to ease the defense of the realm. He has sent out messages to the nearby kingdoms that builing an outpost on Lanka shall be treated like an invasion of the Deccan.



*in a calendar that Bistami calls Kris-ti'un, although noone seems to know why.
 

unmerged(11031)

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The Continuing Tales of Boredom or how Qutb saved brother Amzad, conquered various nations and basically was a kind soul (and that’s the story and we are sticking to it)

Qutb was a kind and dear soul, despite what people said about him, namely brother Sui and Brother Alesso. Sure he conquered his vassals, but that’s only because they did not see the great good that could come of being part of New Delhi as the people were affectionately calling Delhi since Qutb had taken over. Qutb had tried to bring them in peacefully, but hey, what’s a person supposed to do when they refuse to join you? So the massed legions had been sent against the 3 vassals of Delhi and they had been brought into the fold.

As for Qutb’s other brothers, different approaches were made. Originally the plan had been to smack around Brother Amzad, after all he did possess great strength but watching Brother Alvero defeat him and then actually kill Amzad, brought a change in opinion and so Qutb valiantly rode to the defense of the Mughal Empire and killed Alvero’s mortal form, allowing Amzad to salvage something from the situation.

For Brother Bistami another approach was adopted. Friendship was to be offered to them as originally, Qutb feared that Bistami and Amzad would join up and defeat him, but with the change in situation, Friendship was no longer as desired.

The final Brother that Qutb had to deal with was Brother Sui of Bengal. Qutb felt no ill feelings towards Sui, he had always rather liked him, but Sui was in the way of Alesso and so a few provinces had to change hands in order for Qutb to gain a route to Alesso.
 
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"More then twenty-five years, my son, have passed since Amzad took the throne of the Mughal Empire. Twenty-five years full with war, victories, sorrow, tears...and glory!
Let me summarise the history of the past decades for you, the decades where the Mughal Empire defeated every foe she waged war with.
Learn the lessons from these wars and use it to your advantage.

It all started when Amzad, the Great Mogul, may Allah bless him, decided to conquer Baluchistan. In a stunning campaign of less then two years, Amzad crushed the Baluchistani and added their realm to the Mughal Empire. Their forces were no match for the Mughal hordes, despite their courage on the battlefield.
I see the surprise in your eyes, indeed, there was a time when Baluchistan was an independent nation. Small, but with pride.
Of course, their inhabitants are much better off now…

Now, where was I? Ah…the conquests of Amzad…
In less then a year after that succesful campaign, one of the many that would come, Amzad, the Lion of Kabul invaded the Uzbekh Khanate, for He had sworn an oath that all the Uzbekhs belonged to the Mughal Empire.
But when the Mughal armies entered the territory of the Uzbekhs, they met resistance from Chagatai! Alvaro, the slightly paranoid ruler of the Chagatai Khanate protected the Uzbekh Khanate. Most certainly because he feared that the Mughal Empire would grow too strong…or was it his own desire to expand?

In a lengthy war the Mughal Empire battled the Chagatai and Uzbekhs. Amzad defeated the Uzbekhs in a swift campaign and signed a quick peace with them. Silently he vowed to finish them in the future, but first he had to crush the Chagatai.
Alas, Allah the Great, The Benevolent, appearently was not watching the state of affairs that closely, because a lucky arrow from an unclean Chagatai farmer reached Amzads eye and forced our good Mogul to retreat from the battlefield, terrible wounded.
The Mughal soldiers temporary lost their faith, now the Great Mogul did not lead them personally anymore and retreated in chaos.

The Chagatai then felt sure of the victory and haunted the Mughal army all the way back to Kabul, but then, in the hour of our deepest need, the Sultan of Delhi, friend and brother of Amzad, saved the day. His armies crossed the border and marched towards Chagatai.
Alvaro, wisely, signed a very quick peace, to prevent his nation from total destruction."

"And Amzad, father?"

"Allah took care of him, Abdul, and soon our benevolent leader was ready to lead his armies once again, but his restoration took some time. Nine months Amzad was forced to stay in bed. During those nine months, the Uzbekhs choosed to submit to the Chagatai Khanate. Appearently the forked tongue of Alvaro, may Allah roast his balls, caused Muhammad Shaybani to submit. With great sorrow Amzad watched the transfer of many Uzbekh provinces to the Chagatai Khanate.

With manly furor the Great Mogul send his armies once again against the Chagatai to crush them for once and all. Alvaro proved to be a worthy foe, though, and his skills on the battlefield almost matched those of the Great Mogul himself"


Abdul gasped

"Yes my son, the vile Alvaro has done many, many vile deeds and it is rumoured he cannot please a woman, but his courage on the battlefield is almost unmatched!

Well, to continue my story, Amzad and Alvaro battled each other for years and years and no one seemed to be able to get the upper hand. After thousands and thousands of Mughal soldiers died (Amzad is somewhat a bit risky with the lives of his soldiers, so take heed!) Amzad once again asked his friend and brother Qutb for help.
Together with the armies of Qutb the Mughal Empire finally defeated the Chagatai in that war. Alvaro himself had to retreat from the battlefield, mortally wounded."

"Father, was that not dishounorable of Amzad, to ask others for help?"

"No, my son, it was wise. Amzad knew he was still weak because of that unfortunate arrow. Therefore he could not lead the Mughal hordes personally…while Alvaro could. As you know, Rulers have the ability to inspire their soldiers to great deeds. The armies of Alvaro had therefore the upper hand, and it was only Amzads genious that prevented the Mughal Empire from a terrible defeat.
When Qutb of Delhi arrived, Amzad precisely told him what to do. With the instructions of the Great Mughal at hand, Qutb defeated Alvaro in the year 817.
Qutb defeated Alvaro physically, but it was of course Amzads will that caused the Sheep Lord to flee back to the grassfields of the Chagatai.
The peace deal was very profitable for the Mughal Empire, since the Chagatai were forced to accept the free passage of Mughal soldiers, merchants and colonisers through their realm. The war effectively meant that the Mughal Empire could conquer the steppes in the north…

And that was what Amzad did. Two years after the peace with Chagatai, the Mughal Empire once again warred with another nation. This time the horse lords of Nogai were the victims. Despite the huge distances from the homeland, the Mughal soldiers managed to defeat the Nogai in a stunning campaign. Within three years the Nogai realm, except for the capitol, belonged to the Mughal Empire.
At this time the Mughal Empire had expanded enormously and almost doubled in size…"

"And now we are at peace again, finally. Right father?"

"We are now Abdul, but after the Nogai territories were added to the Empire, Amzad once again waged a war…and this time he was not the one who invaded.
Yes, my son, it was the Shah of Persia who heinously misused the fact that the Mughal Empire was exhausted by the long wars.
For years and years the Shah had prepared his armies and at a beautiful morning in the spring of 822, Persian soldiers crossed the border with the Mughal Empire and pillaged everything in their sight.

It was then when Amzad personally took lead of the Mughal army and showed his brilliancy once again. In a very short war thousands and thousands of Shiites died on Mughal ground and the invaders had to retreat all the way back to Isfahan! The border provinces are now amongst the most fertile. Persian blood is good for the crops, you know.
Completely defeated and humiliated, the Persian Shah submitted to the Mughal Empire and vowed to never attack again.
They’d better not, for if they would do it again, Amzads wrath might force him to burn Isfahan…

But the decades of warfare took their toll and now the Mughal Empire needs a new generation of able soldiers. This is why you are needed now, my son. You will now understand why you need to leave this house and have to travel to Kabul, to the military academy.
Go with the blessings of Allah, my child and may glory be yours!"


And Abdul Azeem, the Baluchistani, went. Soon his remarkable skills would be recognized by his superiors and within a few years he was already an officer in the Mughal Army.
Ready for his first battles against any enemy the Great Mogul wished to attack.
 
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The Concise History of Asian Waged Warfare

Chapter I
1492 – 1519​

The list of wars waged** by the most important Asian powers* in the period 1492-1519


  1. BENGAL against Orissa, started in January 1492, ended in July 1492 with 28d ceded to Bengal.
  2. VIJAYANGAR against Hyderabad, started in January 1492, ended in October 1492, with Hyderabad ceding Khandesh, Bastar, Maharashtra to Vijayanagar.
  3. MUGHAL EMPIRE against Baluchistan, started in January 1492. Ending in October 1492 with Baluchistan paying 300d in indemnities and ceding Kalat & Mekran to Mughal Empire. Baluchistan will give up independance and become a vassal.
  4. BRUNEI against Makassar, started in February 1492, ended in October 1492 with Makassar annexed by Brunei.
  5. MATARAM against Champa, started March 1492, ended in March 1493 with Champa annexed by Mataram.
  6. MATARAM against Cambodia, started June 1492. Ended with Cambodia agreeing to give military access and 25d to Mataram in December 1492.
  7. VIJAYANGAR against Mysore, started in September 1492, ended in July 1494, with Mysore ceding Kerala´and Cochin, also accepting to become a Vijayanagar vassal.
  8. VIJAYANGAR against Hyderabad, started in January 1493, ended in October 1493, with Hyderabad annexed by Vijayanagar.
  9. DEHLI against his vassal in Malwa, started in February 1493. Ended in May 1493 with Full Annexation of Malwa by Delhi.
  10. VIENTIANE against Cambodia & Champa in January 1493. Ending in
    October 1493 with Cambodia ceding Khmer and 26d to Vientiane.
  11. CHINA and Manchu against Korea, started January 1493. Ending in April 1495 with Korea becomming a vassal of China and paying 75d in indemnities.
  12. BENGAL against Pegu, started in August 1493. Ended in October 1493 with Pegu annexed by BENGAL.
  13. MALACCA & BRUNEI against MATARAM, started in July 1494. VIENTIANE entering on Matarams side in November 1494. With Vientiane leaving Mataram to its fate in January 1496, gaining Phuket, Kwai and Bangkok to Vientiane. Mataram accepting defeat in April 1497, ceding palambang and all claims on the colonies in indonesia.
  14. MUGHAL EMPIRE against Chagatai & Uzbek Khanate, started in September 1494. DELHI joining May 1497 on the Mughal side. Ending in January 1498 with Return to Status Quo, and 100d in indemnities to the Chagatai Khanate
  15. BENGAL against Oman, started in March 1495. Ending in January 1497 with Oman accepting peace, ceding 25d, Zanzibar, Damman, Quatar, Al Kharam, Masirah & Dofhar to Bengal
  16. CHAGATAI vs Khazaks and Uzbeks: May 10 1498 to April 2 1499, 6 provinces to CHAGATAI
  17. VIJAYANGAR against BENGAL, started in November 1496. VIENTIANE joining in January 1499 also against BENGAL. Ending with Vientiane in May 1499 with the people of Pegu released to independence from BENGAL. Ending with Vijayangar in July 1501, with Bengal ceding Palakimedi and Berhampur to Vijayanagar.
  18. DELHI against VIJAYANGAR, started in May 1498. Ending in November 1498, with return to Status Quo.
  19. MUGHALS and DELHI vs CHAGATAI: (truce-breaking attack) March 14 1499 to February 15 1508, White peace
  20. DELHI against VIJAYANGAR , started in February 1500. Ending in August 1500 with Vijayangar ceded Khandesh to Delhi.
  21. BENGAL against Moldavia, started in May 1509. Ending in July 1510 with the goverment of Moldavia falling.
  22. MUGHAL EMPIRE against their vassals in Baluchistan, started in April 1510. Ending in November 1510 with annexation by the Mughal Empire.
  23. MUGHAL EMPIRE against Nogai, started in September 1511. Ending in October 1516 with Nogai accepting peace ceding 25d, Bouzatchi, Ust Urt, Alga, Irgiz and Orsk to Mughal Empire.
  24. DELHI against Persia and Oman started in December 1511. Ending in June 1513 with Persia ceding Kutch to Delhi.
  25. VIENTIANE against Taungu started in December 1512. Ending in November 1513 with Taungu paying 39d and ceding Lampang to Vientiane.
  26. BENGAL against Mameluks & Hedjaz started in March 1515. Ending in April 1518 with Mameluks ceding Alexandria & Delta to Bengal.
  27. DELHI against BENGAL started in March 1517. Ending in May 1517 with Bengal ceding Tirhut to Delhi.
  28. MATARAM against Oman & Persia started in November 1517, still ongoing.
  29. VIENTIANE against Bengal started in March 1518, Ending in July 1518 with Bengal ceding Tarakan & Chin to Vientiane.


----------------------------
* Player countries, written in CAPITAL LETTERS
** From Brunei POV.
 
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