|Motto: Blood Calls Out for Blood|
|Anthem: Behold, the New Dawn Rises!|
|Location of Raspur|
|Official language(s)|| Babkhi (official)|
Khalypsine and Vey Greek most commonly spoken
|Government||Restricted franchise elective monarchy|
|- Khan||Tahmaseb II Osman|
|- Grand Vizier||Azardokht al-Osman|
|Establishment||10 Bahman (IV) 1637|
|Population|| 49,801 Citizens|
1,237,091 Protected Persons
|National food||Long Pork|
|National drink||Narcotic Wine|
The Khanate of Raspur is a wiki-based simulated state set on the continent of Eura in the wake of the destruction of the Kingdom of Babkha. It considers itself to be a successor to the cultural identity (theme) and fictional history of Babkha as well as the short-lived Theocracy of Khalypsil, but in neither case to the polities themselves.
- 1 Government and politics
- 2 Demographics
- 3 History
- 3.1 Antiquity
- 3.2 The Kumara Invasion
- 3.3 The Empire of Raspur
- 3.4 The Alkhivan-Raspuri Wars
- 3.5 The Kapav Restoration
- 3.6 Early Modern Babkha
- 3.7 Babak Kapav Mehr
- 3.8 World empire, Grand Commonwealth
- 3.9 Decline
- 3.10 Blackfriars
- 3.11 Harmonious Society
- 3.12 After the Apocalypse
- 3.13 Foundation
- 3.14 Changes in government
- 3.15 Returning to the rule of law
- 3.16 The condition of the country
- 4 Geography
- 5 Culture
Government and politics
Raspur is governed by a military aristocracy - the Satraps - who answer only to the Khan who is elected by the Satraps and yet who can deprive the Satraps of their lands, titles, liberty, and even their lives, on a word. The state, such as it is, formerly financed itself through extortion, plunder, and smuggling. Following treaties with Shireroth and Constancia a movement has begun to develop a more responsible and sustainable system of government.
A delegation of ten citizens, headed by the Satrap of Farzan, was sent abroad in 1657 to study the ways of foreigners and to develop recommendations for a new constitution.
Supreme power in Raspur is nominally invested in the person of the Khan who sits upon the Flayed-Skin Throne of the Upper Ziggurat in Raspur. In practice however the Khan has become a creature of idleness, sensuality and increasing senility. Responsibility for the day to day affairs of state instead falls under the purview of the Grand Vizier, formerly a hereditary position belonging to one of the Raspurid noble families but subsequent to a Shirerithian intervention during the War of Lost Brothers, now held by a distant Benacian cousin.
The Grand Vizier holds the great seal of the Khan and countersigns firmans (executive, legislative, and judicial decrees of the Khan) bringing them into lawful effect.
Firmans cover all aspects of political and civil society, reflective of the theoretically unlimited sovereignty of the Khan and his government. In practice however the seven Satraps, Arslan, Farzan, Mihran, Mitra, Suren, Varaz & Zjandar, enjoy substantial autonomy, up to and including the capacity to wage private wars on their own initiative and even against each other. The central government, with its corps of Zhāyēdān (Immortals), acts as the balancing force, maintaining order in the midst of potential chaos by bringing its forces to bear against any over-mighty Satrap and breaking up coalitions amongst the lords before they can give rise to conspiracies against the throne.
As noted the territory beyond the bounds of Raspur proper is dominated by seven satraps. These, with the assistance of their Dihqān legions, serve, theoretically at least, as viceroys of the Khan, their power extending far out into the green beyond Raspur's formal borders.
The satrap has charge of the land that he possesses as an administrator, and accordingly he is typically surrounded by a court that is itself almost regal in stature; he collects the taxes, controls the local officials and the subject tribes and cities, and is the supreme judge of the province before whom every civil and criminal case arising therein may be brought. He is responsible for the safety of the roads, excepting the Royal Roads determined by the treaty with Constancia, and has the responsibility for hunting down and exterminating any and all brigands and rebels.
The satrap is supported by a council of Zamindars, feudal land owners, a secretary and emissaries of the Khan, especially the "Eye of the Khan", an appointee of the Grand Vizier, who makes an annual inspection and who can nominate unruly and unsatisfactory satraps for ritual slaughter by the Zhāyēdān.
There were further checks on the power of each satrap: besides his secretarial scribe, his chief financial official (ganzabara) and the general in charge of the regular army of his province and of the fortresses are answerable directly to the Khan, in person. The satraps however are allowed to have Dihqān troops in his own service and could call upon the muster of local armed levies.
The seven satrapies are divided into smaller districts ruled by their foremost Zamindars. Typically hereditary, the zamindars hold enormous tracts of land and control over their peasants, as well as the itinerant nomadic tribes of the interior, from whom they reserved the right to collect taxes on behalf of the Khanate and Satrapan courts or for military purposes.
Zamindars in turn appointed jagirdars, tax-farmers, to collect the taxes owed by the land-renting Dihqān classes of the lesser nobility, who comprise the majority of the citizens, as well as the various fines, penalties, and exactions owed by the larger servile population.
Formerly an unrecognised state, the Raspur Khanate had no formal relations with foreign powers, and indeed in its values and conduct is considered to be actively antagonistic towards the wider international community. Contacts were however established with the Neo-Babkhan communities of Benacia, especially the Shirerithian branch of the House of Osman.
Subsequent to formal introductions facilitated through the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Caputia the Grand Vizier of Raspur and the Autokrator of Constancia were able to negotiate a comprehensive trade and strategic cooperation agreement which guaranteed Raspur an export market for its petroleum and opiate output as well as the right to export to the wider world via the Constancian ports of Nivardom and Aqabah. Additionally Raspurids abroad would be permitted to access the support services of Constancia's more expansive network of embassies and consulates. In return Raspur would provide garrisons for a network of ribats and caravansaries along the trade routes between the two realms, offer Constancia preferential access to its petroleum reserves, and host a Constancian military mission to reform and reorganise the Khan's personal guard.
The Khanate relies entirely on repaired and reconditioned Babkhan military equipment recovered from the myriad of bunkers and arms depots lost under the desert fastness of the irradiated wastelands. The military organisation of the Khanate similarly reflects the legacy of that vanished Euran empire.
The Immortals are the Khan's pledged fidai, sworn to live and die in his service. They are the instruments of his rule. Eight battalions of the Immortals were raised, one to provide for the defence of Raspur and the person of the Khan, and the remaining seven garrisoned in the territory of his Satraps, to ensure that they are aware that they are never for a moment free from his reach. The Khan also enjoys the services of two salvaged attack-rotorcraft, commonly known nowadays as Whirdlebirds after the Minarborian fashion, with which he delights in leading personal raids on those wretched villages and nomad bands of the interior who have been tardy in paying the tribute that is his due.
The Diqhan, raised from the descendants of Euran nobility, are pledged to the service of the Satraps in whose name they were recruited and to whom their oaths have been given. The Diqhan battalions are both the bodyguards and the private armies of the Satraps and it is never entirely unheard of that they make war upon each other as much as they do upon the enemies of the Khanate. That Khan tolerates this fratricide, so long as it remains within tolerable bounds, as it keeps his subordinates fractious, suspicious and weak.
The Mutatawwi'a are religious troops who, inspired by their Zurvanist faith, have volunteered to fight. Untrained, reckless and fanatical, these troops are poorly equipped with primitive and improvised weapons. These wild warriors are more of a mob than a disciplined unit, eager to get into hand to hand combat with their enemy no matter the odds.
- Jundekhan (Companions of the Khan)
- The Division of the Immortals
- Immortals (x8 battalions)
- Air Support Group (x2 Whirdlebirds)
- The Division of the Immortals
- The Artesh-e Parcham Sabzi (Green Banner of the Army)
- The Division of Arslan
- The Arslanid Diqhan (x1 battalion)
- Mutatawwi'a (x6 battalions)
- The Division of Farzan
- The Farzanid Diqhan (x1 battalion)
- Mutatawwi'a (x6 battalions)
- The Division of Mihran
- The Mihranid Diqhan (x1 battalion)
- Mutatawwi'a (x6 battalions)
- The Division of Mitra
- The Mitraid Diqhan (x1 battalion)
- Mutatawwi'a (x6 battalions)
- The Division of Suren
- The Surenid Diqhan (x1 battalion)
- Mutatawwi'a (x6 battalions)
- The Division of Varaz
- The Varazid Diqhan (x1 battalion)
- Mutatawwi'a (x6 battalions)
- The Division of Zjandar
- The Zjandarid Diqhan (x1 battalion)
- Mutatawwi'a (x6 battalions)
- The Division of Arslan
Babkhan Speaking Nations and Kingdoms came into dominance of Babkha Proper around 3000 bN (before Norton), around this time, The Chelpian Empire of what is now Southern Leiland and northern Babkha, had reached its Peak, and the Willith nations of North West Eura were still emerging.
The two important Babkhan empires of this time were the Purians and the Dehtians. The Pur empire extended from southern Razjania to the Tatanite mountains bordering with the Tatan Empire of Southern Eura. Dehtian influence stretched from Kapav (Kapitalia) through to Mehdiestan and as far north as Alkhvia.
Around 3000 bN, Shah Raqshid OF Pur blocked the advance of Shah Garahand of Dehtie towards the principle city of Nareven in Bolfilestan. (Nareven Being an independant kingdom, and a major route along the silver trade between Zebnia and Pur), ending a 230 year Alliance.
A Dehtian Armada of 10 000 triremes from Darasa in Razjania, sailed up the Kapav Sea, and into the Babkhan Sea, attacking and raising the Pur vassal city of Vey, heralding the beggining of the crippling Bolfil War.
The Bolfil war ensued for three years, when in 2997 bN, Dehtian Armies, driven back to the Capital Tarish, were defeated and saw the end of the Dehtian Empire.
With the defeat of Dehtie, and the now weakened Pur army, former tribute bearing states became liberated and grew to Power.
Hashem the first, the son of The Satrap of Kapav, ascended the throne of Kapav, when news of the Dehtian defeat reached Mount Pordan, (the Kapavian Capital).
With a Tatanian invasion of Babkha iminent, Purian attention turned west. with no Purian interferance, Kapav quickly became the dominant power in Eastern Babkha.
The Purian province of Dar Akann in Southern Babkha, revolted under Razjan Agha. Razjan declared himself King of The lands of Dar Akann, Jurba and laid claim to Kapav.
Razjan founded his capital on the site where his army defeated Pur, and named it Razjania. The lands of Dar Akann and Jurba soon became known as Razjania.
It was at this time that Babak of Kamalabad ascended the throne of Kapav from his father.
Babak moved the Kapavian capital from Mount Pordan to the River Marzieh, and founded the city of Kamalshahr.
Babaks interest turned towards the Purians, whose empire had dwindled considerably. Babak captured Vey in 3952, then marched on Bents the following year.
While preparing to siege the city of Derakhshan, Razjanian armies captured the Kapav Port, Bandar Mehdie.
Babak the great, enraged by the Razjanian invasion of Kapavian land, marched on Bandar Mehdie, taking it through the employment of Wall towers and fire catapaults. The Kapav army then drove Razjan south towards the Dehtian Sea city of Iraj, again using wall towers to succesfully siege the city. The city of Razjania posed a great problem to Babak the great. being a harbour city, and with Razjan ordering motes to be built around the city walls.
Babak drew the Razjanian army out of the city for a battle on the plains of Razjania where he could use his chariots to full effect and had his entire fleet of triremes siege the city from its harbour.
Superior Naval tactics and the employment of Chariots gave the Kapavs victory against the Armies of Razjan. Razjan was appointed the Satrap of Razjania and became a close advisor to Babak the Great.
Swift victories over Pur and the remaining Babkhan Kingdoms saw, for the first time a unified Babkha.
Babak The Great was crowned King Of Kings of Babkha.
During four years of peace in Babkha, Babak created a new administration system, which saw the nation divided into 8 Provinces, his native Kapav becoming the province of Kapitalia, Dehtie becoming part of Mehdiestan, and Pur becoming Kamalia (with Babakshahr as its capital).
Babak the Great died in Nasrin Islands.
With Rastam I as King, Babkha turned its attention towards the North. The Alkhvian empire which had grown from a Chelpian tribute payer, to a large empire, had disturbed several Babkho-Chelpian trade routes.
Rastams raid into Alkhvia was successfull, it doubled the size of the Babkhan empire. As Rastam defeated the Alkhvians, he founded cities on his war trail, migration from Babkha into what he renamed North Babkha, saw the Alkhvian empire integrate as part of Babkha.
Rastam the conqueror died in 2923 bN, while supressing a Vipian Revolt in the west. During this time, the History of Eura, was marked by some important events. The Willith Nations of North West Eura, Yengisia, Emria, Escotia, Osria, Thillies, Reeland, Nemzland, and Nilles, united to Form the Willith Union, creating at the time, the largest empire yet seen. The City of Neudalls was founded while Alkaho, the Alcan Peninsula and several Spartianan States were captured. In the central north of Eura, Salvadoria unified as a republic, after withstanding a Zebnian invasion.
A power struggle ensued in Babkha between Behruz II, eldest son of Rastam, and Bahram the Grim, his half brother. Behruz was throned King of Kings, while Bahram fled to North Babkha with a loyal army.
Bahrams army arrived across the Babkhan Gulf, where they set up a fortress, (which grew to become the city of Kamaltoon). Behruz II, sent a small army made up of the Kapitalian and Dehvaz Provincial Guards, and a small band of of Cavaliers to North Babkha. Bahrams Army was expected to be easily defeated. However to the great surprise of the King, his forces were destroyed before even leaving Babkha Proper. Bahrams army had grown to be so large that it matched the Royal Armies. Compromised of ethnic Alkhvians and Boghls, Bahram's allegience would give them interpendance if he was to march on Kamalshahr victorious.
The Babkhan civil war ensued for eight years, with Bahram's armies finally being defeated in the northern city of Norasht. Bahram became known as 'the grim' after killing three hundred of his most loyal soldiers before killing himself.
With a victorious army at his disposal, Behruz II turned his attention towards Vipia, the land of the Kings desert. Behruz marched for one year through the kings desert before being met by a Tatan envoy at the gates of Vipia's capital, Uramin. Vipia and Tatania had signed an alliance against Babkha. The Tatan envoy warned that if Vipia was attacked, a Tatan fleet would sail to Kamalshahr and sack the city. Behruz took the risk.
The march of the empire had begun. Rather than Kamalshahr being sacked, Babkhan vessels from Mehdiestan and Infantry units from Niloufar Province, captured the city of Tatania. After taking Vipia, Behruz realised the close proximity of the Babkhan Empire with the expanding Willith Union, would result in a conflict that Babkha was not prepared for. The King made a trip to Neudalls, where he fell in love with the Countess of Yengisia, Margarette of Welsdale. Upon returning to Babkha, Behruzes only child was born, Princess Grace.
Behruz II was preparing for an invasion of Mestechap when he was assasinated by the Grand Vizier Abbas, a short lived Abbasian dynasty ruled Babkha for 5 months, untill Princess Grace and her loyal army which became known as the Immortal Gracian Guards (and last to this day in the now nation of Gracia), marched the Royal Palace and beheaded the treacherous Vizier.
Grace was crowned Queen of Kings Of Babkha, and immediately set out to accomplish her fathers plans for a Babkhan invasion of the central Euran Kingdom of Mestechap.
The military expedition which would lead the Babkhans accross the great desert of the kings for the first time in history. Realising the treacherous conditions they would face while on the route to Mestechap, Queen Grace, realised that a permanent base would need to be established after the desert of the kings. Accompanying the soldiers across the desert was approximately 20 000 settlers, craftsmen and farmers.
After months of travel and hardship crossing the great desert, which after that voyage became known as the Dashte Badbakhti (Desert of Hardship), Queen Grace ordered the construction of a city at an Oasis which her general named Emperaturus (Empress Fields).
The Mestechap war, became the shortest war in Babkhan history, with a swift victory of just 3 days, the once powerfull central Euran Kingdom of Mestechap became yet another Babkhan province.
The neighbouring Kel Kingdoms of Vayelon, Susd, and Shom, formed the Alliance of Vayelon, with Willith support, and watched closely by the Sultan of Uzbenistan, as the Babkhan expansion threatened the Western Euran nations.
The Newly united kingdoms of Kelestan, urged by the Willith Union and with Uzben and Ulzevan military support, attacked Emperaturus.
The Babkhan army and the emerging Emperaturian Guards repelled the Kel invasion, and in turn, an infuriated Queen Grace ordered the sacking of the three principal Kel cities of Vayelon, Shom and Susd.
Triggered by the Kel attack, Queen Grace took the final Babkhan push to the west. Kelestan was ravaged by her army, while Ulzevanestan and many other of the Kingdoms of South West Eura fell to the ever strengthening army of Queen Grace.
With every military victory, the Queen followed the traditions of those before her, by founding new cities and encouraging trans empire migration of Babkhans from Babkha Proper to the new provinces. She founded the city of Shahzamin in memory of her father (land of Kings). The city of Shirabam was founded on the southern coast, and Hashemshahr was founded on the site of the defeat of a Chelpian rebellion in the province of North Babkha.
Only Uzbenistan stood in the way of Graces Empire, the Uzbens had already proven there tremendous military strength, during the Kel wars, destroying the Queens Golden chariot divisions, up untill then, known as the immortal force of her army.
Four years of war with Uzbenistan and after 14 years away from Kamalshahr since her first war with Mestechap, Grace's army defeated the Sultan of Uzbenistan in the battle of Marria. To celebrate the end of the western wars and the final Babkhan Victory, Grace ordered the greatest craftsmen from around Babkha and Eura, to create a city commemorating her achievements.
The city of Grace was born. The Queen moved the capital from Kamalshahr to Grace and negotiated the final peace terms with Babkhas northern neighbours, Willithia, Spartiana, Salvadoria, Chelpia and Zebnia.
Queen Grace died at age 75, in Grace.
After The Queens death, with increased unrest over the throne of Babkha being in Grace, Kamalshahr revolted under the General of the Kapitalian Guards. Babak II successor to the throne of Babkha, immediately put out the insurrection but was compelled to move the capital back to Kamalshahr. His Brother, Raqshid, remained in Grace and was annointed King of the new province of Gracia. He married the grand daughter of the former Sultan of Uzbenistan to appease the Uzbens remaining in the North of the Province.
The reign of Babak II, was marked by uprisings and rebellions, but none more important than the granting of independance to Duoland. The Islands of Duoland and Trieland fell to Queen Grace twenty years earlier. cased in Lamerique on the eastern sea board, and stretching north to Davisville and west to Letti. This area came to be known as Leiland. The rebellion was led by a Lameriquean General, Liam Du Daviss.
At the same time, Zebnia and her ally Salvadoria sacked and pillaged the Chelpian Capital Burghsoice, killing the King and his family. General Liam quickly claimed the former Chelpian Empire as Leiland, proclaimed Lamerique its capital, and himself its emperor.
Zebnian soldiers were sent to destroy Lamerique. However to the surprise of the Zebnian King, the new Emperor repelled the attack. Four years of war between Leiland and Zebnia, saw the disintegration of the Zebnian empire, and the birth of a powerfull new state in Eura.
Babak II drowned in a shipwreck off the Chelpian Gulf, while returning to Kamalshahr after visiting the Emperor of Leiland. Hashem II heir to the throne, murdered his brothers and sisters in fear of a challenge to his reign and had his fathers advisors eyes burned off. The Brutal begining of Hashem II's throne was to mark the rest of his reign.
An uprising in Kelestan during his first year as King resulted in the massacre of thousands of Kels, and the refusal of the Duolish to pay Babkhan Taxes was met with the destruction of Duecit, the Duolish capital.
When it became known to the King that Willithia had a hand in the Kel uprising, Hashem II prepared to invade the Willith Union.
Hashem II allied himself with Leiland and the Alcanian Uprising in The Alcan Peninsula in Willithia. While the Williths and Spartiana allied against Babkha.
Babkha invaded the Yengis kingdom of the Willith Union from the south and Babkhan soldiers based in the Alcan Peninsula attacked the northern State of Ostrisia. Leilish warships were sent to attack the Spartianans to deter them from joining in the Babkho-Willith war, while an earlier passive Salvadoria saw its chance to take its claim of Omenia from Spartiana.
Parthmund, the largest city of Yengisia was pillaged by Babkhan Soldiers, while the Willith Navy launched its attack on the nearby city of Grace. Spartianan aid to Willithia never arrived after its soldiers, tied up to defending the province of Omenia in the south from Salvadoria, and a Leilish siege on the capital Corinth.
The Salvadorian invasion of Omenia was soon repelled by strong Spartianan resistance, and a shortlived Eman uprising near its border with Babkha was quelled. Salvadoria drew out of the war and despite intense Leilish pressure for another invasion of Omenia, remained neutral. Hashem II's successes in Yengisia and Ostresia, turned to disaster for him, as the Williths destroyed his Alcan force in the north and captured Grace. The situation turned to stalemate as neither armies managed to break each others hold.
Babkha agreed to retreat from its positions in the Alcan Peninsula and from Yengisia, in return for a Willith withdrawal from Grace. With the end of the first Euran War, Hashem II set about quelling the insurrections that had arised in the empire during the distraction of the war. An Uzben bloodbath ensued when the Kings armies re-entered the province of Gracia, as the Uzbens had allied with Willithia during the war. Royal Razjanian Provincial Guards positioned in Mehrestan during the war were sent through Kelestan on there return home to quell the Kel uprisings. Thousands of Kels were killed in Shom, Susd and particularly Vayelon.
Hashem II died thirteen years later while invading the city of Al Akabar, in Eman Province, Spartiana.
During a sustained period of peace, the Babkhan empire enjoyed great economic and cultural growth. The period of the reigns of Babak III and Babak IV were Eura's most peaceful time. Eura under the control of six empires, the Babkhan, the Duolish, the Leilish, the Salvadorian, the Spartianian and the Union of Willithia. Babak III encouraged the arts, with a flourishing Babkhan cultural reneissance and the growth in importance of West Babkhan Cities such as Shahzamin, Emperaturs, Grace and Shirabam.
Babak IV's rule coexisted with that of his father, however during his rule, traditionally disgruntled Western Provinces began to encourage seperatist activities. With this in mind Babak IV strengthened the peacetime standing army, largely neglected by his father. He organised the army into various divisions. The Royal Babkhan Army was organised into an efficient offensive war machine, while the Royal Babkhan Guards were formed to be the defensive units of Babkha against any external threats. For internal security, the Provinces were each assigned with Provincial Guards (while some Babkha Proper provinces already had these guards). These Provincial Guards were formed to quell any insurrections, assist the Army and the Babkhan Guards in times of war and to effectively act as a police force.
The Kumara Invasion
As a course of historical inevitability foreign powers began to prey on the continent of Eura. Famine, pestilence and war in some unknown quarter of the world had cut off the sea trade routes between the continents. In desperation the great ocean going powers sent their navigators out into the unknown on voyages of exploration to discover new lands to exploit and colonise.
Mariners from the West had returned to their homelands with tales of the thousands of whales in the waters around Eura, and huge colonies of seals on the northern shore. A sealing gang was Eura’s first Western residents, and as demand and exploitation grew by leaps and bounds, the dragon headed longboats of the foreigners began calling at northern and western harbours ever more frequently. These foreigners were known simply as the Sea Peoples and they were a race of which the people of Eura were in almost completely ignorant off.
In contrast however the fame of Eura was fast spreading across the world, until word of its riches reached the ears of the most dreaded of the Sea Peoples – the Kumara. They were a barbarous and proud race, hailing from a rocky barren island of the same name, the Kumara were unable and unwilling to depend on agriculture or trade and lived therefore entirely by piracy alone. Flotillas of war canoes and longboats carried Kumara war parties across the oceans of the world, more than pirates they were a plague on civilisation that rivalled or eclipsed even the destructive potential of the steppe nomads. The maxim of the Kumara was to destroy ones enemies at minimum cost – as for example, a favourite trick was to slaughter enemy leaders lured into peace conference. The plundered and leaderless countries that had suffered under the Kumara soon found themselves under the yoke of other Sea Peoples who followed in the wake of the pirates like scavengers.
On the surface the six native empires that had partitioned Eura between themselves were secure in an unparalleled age of prosperity and cultural advancement. The six, headed by Babkha and the Willith Union, benefited mutually from a balance of power created by the shifting alliances that prevented either Babkha or the Willith achieving primacy. Free of external interference the continental powers held each other in check, the very strength of their armed forces keeping their neighbours expansionist ambitions in check. In the midst of an era of free trade and intellectual renaissance the continent once more began to resemble a vast armed camp.
Thus when the infamous Kumara chieftain, Hengistorsa, piloted his war fleet into a Willith harbour he was greeted warmly by envoys of a Willith Senate that was always on the look out for potential new allies against Babak IV.
Hengistorsa was a perceptive and shrewd warlord; the Willith had not been his first choice of ally in the territories he now hungered after. For at least a year before initiating contact with the Willith he had negotiated with Babak IV, the Kumara had made the standard offer of their services as mercenaries in return for land. However the Babkhans had not been so foolish as to be taken in by the schemes of the Kumara, Hengistorsa departed, disappointed, with a token tribute of gold trinkets and provisions for the journey which the Babkhans hoped would take the most infamous of all the Sea Peoples as far away from their shores as possible.
Instead the canny chieftain entered into negotiations with the Willith Senate, again making his offer to wage war against their foes in return for land. Hengistorsa bluffed the corrupt and incompetent senators into believing the paltry gifts in gold rials from Babak were a bribe offered up by the Babkhans for the Kumara to launch a surprise attack on the Willith.
Hengistorsa maintained it was only his deep admiration for the prowess and virtue of the Willith (whom in truth he loathed) that prevented him from taking up the Shah’s offer. In a panic the Senate offered up land for the Kumara to fortify, free access to their harbours and an annual tribute for the protection of the Willith Union by Hengistorsa and the other Kumara chieftains they implored him to invite in with unseeemly.
Other nations allied to or dependent on the Willith Union followed the example of the Senate and entered into negotiations with the foreigners. Soon the growing assembly of Kumara chieftains, having elected Hengistorsa their Cyng Curia (literally ‘King in Court’), began playing off the Duolish, Leilish, Salvadorians, Spartianians and the Williths against each other. Wars were fought on points of honour as every king, noble and general felt confident enough to try to bring his opponents to their knees through force of arms when they each had the patronage of one Kumaran chieftain or another. The Kumara, while encouraging their new ‘masters’ to raid their neighbours, remain in secret correspondence with each other, waiting for the moment to assert themselves which came sooner than they had dared to expect.
Weakened by their intrigues against each other and fearful of the latent power of Babkha, the rulers of Western Eura paid the price for their own stupidity when they were compelled to gather at Al Akabar, by the very same mercenaries they had hired to augment their power, and acknowledge Cyng Hengistorsa as the Grand Emir and Caliph of Al Akabar. Soon the Western portion of the continent fell under shadow of the blue swastika of the Kumara.
Caliph Hengistorsa’s meteoric rise towards supreme power alarmed Babak Shah who was fearful that the Caliphate of Al Akabar would throw its might against the disaffected western provinces of Babkha. In an extreme step the Royal Army and the Provincial Guards gathered in the west Babkhan cities to menace borders of the new Caliphate. Both sides postured along their new mutual frontier. Babkha had been confounded to find its neighbours united under a terrifying new barbarian power that held command of the sea and was more than a match for even the combined armies of Babkha.
The Empire of Raspur
Babak Shah’s great hope and obvious first strategy was to ferment revolt amongst the subjects of the Caliph. The Princes who had been so humiliated by the events at Al Akabar were the first to be sought out by the Babkhan envoys. To have progressed from the status of sovereign lords to being in effect provincial governors and hostages to the whim of the Caliph, in the course of four short years was unendurable humiliation. Antiochus, Emperor of Leiland, was the first to respond favourably.
Happy to oblige the son of his former ally; the Leilish Emperor summoned all the Kumara chieftains within his dominion to a great feast at his capital in Lamerique, where he made all manner of entertainments available for the primitive horde, music, imported wine, the finest meat and the most attractive women from the across his Empire. All night long the hideous orgy went on, the drinking and the feasting; but as dawn began to break the barbarians sank into heavy dreamless slumber, and the women acting on the Emperors instructions seized their chance. Drawing the swords of the sleeping chieftains from their sheaths, each woman stabbed the Kumaran lying at her side. Antiochus’ retainers, having waited the night in the hidden recesses of the palace, broke in at the prearranged signal and finished of the ghastly work of dispatching their masters’ hated foes.
Insulated by the protection and friendship offered by the Shah of Babkha, Antiochus reasserted his independence with an empire wide purge of all surviving Kumara tribesmen in his territory, several hundred survivors however escaped out to sea with news of the massacre.
Hengistorsas’ response was furious; a combined Willith-Kumara fleet was dispatched to exterminate the rebel ‘province’. The Babkhan and Leilish triremes failed to detect, let alone intercept, the longboats and war galleys. A week after the massacre, the armada appeared of the Leilish coast. Antiochus had written a message for Babak Shah saying there was no sign of the Sea Peoples and that all was well, he had it dispatched by dhow to Kamalshahr the same day that the Sea Peoples appeared over the horizon and proceeded wiped out the city, the dhow was overtaken and the message intercepted. The Kumara taunted Antiochus with its content before they executed him by pouring molten silver into his eyes, ears, mouth, nose and rectum. The Kumara were notoriously superstitious about shedding royal blood outside of battle. The Emperors wife and daughters were brutally raped before being rolled up in carpets and trampled to death.
The horror engendered by the slaughter at Lamerique backfired monstrously for the Kumara. Resistance continued in Duoland. Brought on by desperation as much as defiance, the people refused to yield to a race so alien in customs, manner and speech as the Kumarans.
The events thus far while threatening the peace between Babkha and the Caliphate had not led on to open war between the two now equally matched forces. To be certain Babak Shah had been the instigator of Antiochus’ revolt but neither side was ready to be brought onto the field of battle so soon. Caliph and Shah exchanged envoys, each seeing if they could get the measure of the other. Both had plenty to loose in a descent into open war. Both faced domestic opposition and the threat of revolt in their absence. This was especially true for Hengistorsa who faced the threat of native revolt on an almost day-to-day basis. In spite of this he would have relished the chance to destroy the Babkhan race, which had spurned him so five years previously.
However, as ever, a single incident threw the two parties into the battle that both sides knew must come yet neither was fully ready for. It would be the struggle for continental hegemony which only one state could survive.
Almost a full year after the death of Antiochus a caravan of about one hundred Willith Muslims arrived in Raspur en-route to the pilgrimage sites of Babkha. With them was a Kumara envoy who was to be accompanying them to Kamalshahr. Raspur laid in the territory of Zjandaria, a Satrapy where the steppe nobility remained a law unto themselves. The least promising province of Babkha, its Satraps were the dregs of the Babkhan state, those who had suffered the displeasure of the Shah in some other former capacity were usually appointed to Zjandaria as some kind of internal exile.
The Emir of Raspur, Nadir-Khan, however was a bandit who had risen in local government as much by judiciously applied bouts of mass poisonings and bloodlettings as through administrative skill. Disrespectful of both Satrap and Shah, he thought nothing of plundering travelling caravans. He had all the pilgrims murdered while taking the Envoy to be flayed alive in the Bazaar. All this he did on the grounds that they were spies. It was an incredibly stupid course of action that plunged the two empires into the abyss of war. This may have been the intention. Certainly the Satrap, Cyrus, whose blood relatives had suffered under the new Kumara regime across the border, connived in the atrocity, and may have done so with the deliberate intent of provoking Hengistorsa into a potentially ruinous war.
The Alkhivan-Raspuri Wars
The Kapav Restoration
Early Modern Babkha
Babak Kapav Mehr
World empire, Grand Commonwealth
After the Apocalypse
In theory, the Khanate was an elective monarchy, however the franchise was limited to a Durbar comprised of the House of Osman and the Houses of the Satraps, named for their provinces, with the hereditary Grand Vizier bringing the membership of the Durbar to nine.
It was a curious system of government where the seven were obliged to elect the man in whom resided the absolute power of life and death over them. The House of Osman has preserved itself in this precarious position solely by virtue of possessing the ruins of the Babkhan capital, although it might also be notedthat none of the other houses could abide the thought of one of their rivals acceding to the flayed-skin throne.
The hereditary Grand Vizierate, the institution which had been responsible for the limited reconstruction of Raspur before the establishment of the Khanate, was retained and made responsible for carrying out, in the Khan's name, the rudiments of public administration, the maintenance of roads and sewers, the taxation of the common folk, the culling of the bandaka and such like.
The single greatest item of expenditure for the government of the Khanate was the funding of the battalions of Immortals tasked with defending the person of the Khan and the seat of his government in Raspur.
Outside of the capital district, which remained firmly under the direct control of the House of Osman, the territory of the Raspur Khanate was divided seven-fold between hereditary governors, known as Satraps, who enjoyed absolute power in their dominions save the fealty that they notionally owed to the Khan. That same Khan could in theory have, at any moment, had called issued a firman for their destruction and they would have been obliged to bare their necks for the stranglers noose.
It was an unhappy system that rested upon the continual inward flow of slaves and plunder as well as outward flows of crude oil and raw opium to sustain itself.
Changes in government
Returning to the rule of law
The long delayed construction of Raspur Airport concluded on 24.VII.1656. Dissatisfaction with the performance of Shirerithian contractors was compounded by complaints from both parties concerning delays in shipments of Community Service Workers and medical grade opium.
Timūr al-Osman Taraghay, accompanied by a modest retinue, reached the Holy Mountain Dominion of Eklesia on 2.X.1656. Dispatched by the Grand Vizier with a firman signed by the Khan, the mission hopes to establish a commercial treaty with the monastic state.
The Grand Vizier and the Crown Prince attended the Non-Aligned Movement Conference held in Zalae at the instigation of the Caputian government in 1657 in consequence of which the Khanate improved its international profile by acceding to the treaty on the prohibition of biological weapons and concurrently negotiated a bilateral trade and security agreement with Constancia.
On 16 Rokhpin (X) 1657 a delegation of ten Raspurid notables, led by the Satrap of Farzan, departed Raspur for Vey under a mandate from the Khan, instigated by the Grand Vizier, to investigate the Constancian constitution. Since almost the first moment that the survivors of the Babkhan Holocaust had gathered emerged from the fallout shelters under the shadow of Raspur's great ziggurat the Khanate, as it would become, had been racked by incessant factional infighting. Even as the son of the last Emir of Raspur ascended to the picturesque Flayed Skin Throne as Khan the knives of the surviving notables remained drawn and poised, with only their antagonism against each over preventing the new satraps from uniting and plunging their daggers into the torso of the noble personage who sat uneasily upon the throne lined with the tanned hides of his erstwhile rivals.
To prevent the throne from being reupholstered in a manner distinctly contrary to his wishes the Khan, along with his son the Khanzada, would need to find a more permanent constitutional arrangement more satisfactory than the present "Babkhan standoff". The friendship and support of certain corporations and potentates, being somewhat conditional and hardly altruistic, could only be considered as having afforded the Khanate a measure of stability that was of a temporary rather than enduring nature. Left to their own devices for long enough the satraps, their minions, the restive servile population, to say nothing of the wretched and fractious inhabitants of the wastes beyond the Khanate, would get the measure of these new foreign advisers - at which point the bloodshed would begin anew.
Chief amongst these precariously placed foreigners was the Grand Vizier herself. A young Shirerithian of the Benacian branch of the Osmanid lineage, she had been introduced into the Raspurid court under the guise of serving as an emissary from the Steward and once there was established in the Grand Vizier's lower ziggurat by force of arms under the pretext afforded by an earlier - and somewhat dubious - intervention by a Kaiser on his travels. Once in office she became the vector by which Nationalist-Humanism was introduced, or rather re-introduced, into Raspur, nonetheless a system of governance that was wholly imposed by an outsider would find little purchase without a substantial garrison to back it up - and this neither Shireroth nor Constancia was prepared to offer.
The Raspurids were descendants of the architects of the Harmonious Society, one of the more comprehensive of the experiments in social engineering ever undertaken by a human society resident on Micras. That this was the same human society that then went on to immolate itself in atomic fire over a disputed succession to the Kapav Throne did not however bode altogether well for the re-adoption of the former system - which might be characterised as hierarchical collective-oligarchism of a distinctly totalitarian nature. For this reason it was deemed prudent to study the ways of those foreigners who had not yet managed to exterminate themselves.
Beginning with Constancia was the obvious point for the delegation - the recent treaty having afforded Raspurid travellers the giddy prospect of travelling in safety without fear of being shot out of the saddle within sight of the first border post. The somewhat startled Home Guard patrol which encountered the ten nobles and their thousand strong armed caravan of mounted followers, could do nought but stamp the proffered firmans with entry visas and gesture mutely towards the road to Vey. Allowing the cavalcade to pass safely out of sight before radioing ahead a frantic warning that a small army was on its way. The airwaves between Vey and Raspur were subsequently filled with a lengthy and slightly acrimonious discussion over the precise meaning of a "small delegation".
After studying the constitution of the Free and Associative Kingdom, the Raspurid decemviri entertained notions of arranging transport beyond the continental confines of Eura to visit Natopia, Shireroth, and even the mysterious insular country known as Kalgachia. That the Raspurids would want to even contemplate trying to visit the famously isolationist "Hermit State" of inner Benacia was in and of itself quixotic. Apparently the Khanzada had been most impressed by the impertinence of a Kalgachi diplomat encountered during his trip to Zalae. As the Khanzada remarked, whilst he impressed upon the departing delegation the importance of arranging a visit, "Any country that can raise itself to such heights of insouciant flippancy has much to teach us about dealing with overbearing neighbours." The Satrap of Farzan, daunted, murmured that he would see what he could do. A telegram was duly sent before the delegation rode out, but hoping for a reply, still less for ten visas, was probably fanciful. The Grand Vizier meanwhile had surreptitiously added Caputia to the delegation's itinerary together with a polite note, on scented paper, addressed to the Satrap of Farzan suggesting that he would be well rewarded if he could some how succeed in collecting a scholar or expert in constitutional law from each of the countries visited. The methods of collection she left to his discretion.
There was a most disagreeably persistent suggestion that this whole exercise had merely been an attempt by the Osmanids to get their ten most troublesome opponents sent abroad and killed on some fool's errand. Such a suggestion was, of course, a malicious slander, subsequently corrected by branding the offenders on the forehead with a hot iron. Having been offered the opportunity to recant their accusations, and thereby to retain the use of their tongues, all of the idle gossips gladly repented.
The condition of the country
The irradiated desert winds continually plagued the lands. Even without this the dry steppe soil yielded poor crops and such irrigation as has been restored, was given over by the Satraps to the cultivation of opium for export to Shireroth, as it has been since the visit of the Kaiser Dominus (1642/1643). Banditry, and skirmishes with outlanders, made the Raspurids reckless and warlike, that is to say heedless to the call of the land for careful management and husbandry. Crops failed, the people went hungry. The exports of oil and opium, the mainstays of the economy, were, until the recent opening of the airport, only achievable through unofficial channels, which diminished competitiveness and ate into the profits eventually received. Of these most vanished into the deep pockets of the Satraps before ever reaching the treasury of the Khan, let alone the meagre wage packets of the toilers upon whom society depended. It is was woeful condition.
The seven satrapies (Ostan) are:
- The Ostan of Arslan
- The Ostan of Farzan
- The Ostan of Mihran
- The Ostan of Mitra
- The Ostan of Suren
- The Ostan of Varaz
- The Ostan of Zjandar
The state religion of the Khanate is the Zoroastrian derived faith of Zurvanism, a belief in a supreme deity, the begetter and embodiment of the cosmos and a figure transcending the eternal cycle of good/order and evil/chaos and the rise and fall of empires in which the duality manifests as conflict which first gives life, then drives development, and finally ends in cataclysm before the cycle begins anew. It is a somewhat fatalistic creed which holds that the will of Zurvan is immutable, its ways beyond understanding, and the fate of all humans, bound to the wheel of suffering, already preordained.
Raspur uses the Norton calendar learnt by the Babkhans from their Treesian slaves in antiquity. The length of the calendar year varies on a twelve-year cycle. The rotation of the planet fluctuates, through regularly. The only fixed celestial event on the calendar, that is to say, the same date for the same event every year, is the Summer solstice (for the northern hemisphere, winter solstice for the southern). The first day of Rokhpin (Elroqpin, a month long bacchanal festivity learned by the Babkhans from their Elw slaves in the early modern period) is that solstice.
The years are reckoned from the date of the supposed death of the Benacian Emperor Nor'Ton the Undying. A strain of ultranationalist sentiment agitates for the reckoning of the years from the date of the founding of the Kingdom of Babkha or the birth of Babak the Great.
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