Afghanistan, Shahdom of
Foundation: 1739-date (T205-date)
Capital: Kabul in Afghanistan
Religion: Sunni Islam
By Rob Pierce, updated by Martin Helsdon
Still to be written.
Khemer: The Khemer generals in India were busy - mercenaries under Gemish Huorn were expected, more regular troopers - and a deal had been struck with the Afghanis. As a result, in late '39 Gemish arrived (though young Honshon had suffered a seizure and died while gathering his musketeers) in Rangoon. Despite religious trouble behind them, Satreya and Almandur decided to push ahead. As a result, Setreya invaded the Yasarid domain of Kalinga in the fall of '39 with 25,000 men.
Arnor: The redoubtable Valerus (and his massed army, though now bereft of the Afghanis) advanced through Rajput, Janupur and into Chandela. Ahmad Durani's army withdrew as the Duke's men advanced.
Afghanistan: Nearly crushed by financial pressures - and finding the devastated Indian lowlands not sufficient to recover his expenses - Ahmad abandoned his war against the Yasarids and returned to the Hindu Kush. Many of his soldiers were pensioned off, with large grants of land in Hazarajat. The Chinese bandits infesting Kashmir were allowed to leave, and they rode of dejectedly to the distant Malabar Sea port of Bhuj, where a fleet was waiting to take them home. The Afghani garrison of Parapavura rejoiced, and was quick to restore control over the countryside.
(1) There were rumors of a Hindu rebellion in the offing.
Afghanistan: Diplomacy: Badakhshan(ea), Balkh(t)
The Afghans secured Kashmir with a new army under the command of the shah of Firoz, and continued negotiations with the mountain clans to the north. Trade was opened with the Prester John over the passes into Kashgar, which everyone hoped would bring wealth, riches and... more goats... to the shahdom.
Afghanistan: Diplomacy: Balkh(a), Dasht'e Lute(t)
Refreshed from their foray down into the hot country, the Afghanis drilled and practiced and honed their gunnery skills. The Kabul City Battery - of such noble fame - tinkered about with some different kinds of gun carriages.
Afghanistan: Diplomacy: Shadad(t), Baluchistan(t)
The Durani clan kept a remarkably low profile - the expedition to India seemed to have sated their immediate appetite for blood - and expanded the University of Kabul. Ah, what a quiet and civilized nation is Afghanistan.
Afghanistan: Diplomacy: Dasht'e'lute(a), Shadad(a), Firoz Kohi(f)
While the Durani-shah remained in Kabul, attempting to convince Persian scholars to come to his capital and teach in the new university, his son and lieutenants were busy in the hinterlands, securing the active allegiance of the chieftains on the Persian frontier. The death of the shah of Firoz Kohi came as unwelcome news, particularly since the grizzled old chieftain had been in command of the garrison of Kashmir...
Kush: And while the Durani busied themselves in the south, Bujayapendra marched his army south over the mountains into Kashmir. There, the long and secret work of his son Mujehendra was revealed - a general uprising filled the province with cheering crowds and unexpectedly armed men, the adherents of prince Kushemu of Kashimir. The Kushans were welcomed with open arms and the combined forces of Bujayapendra and Kushemu advanced upon Parapavura.
The Afghani commander of the garrison, the chief of the Firoz Kohi, meanwhile had taken sick and died. His men, faced with a popular uprising in the city and the advancing Kushan army, fled. The rest of the Afghani garrison fled with them.
In the fullness of time, prince Mujehendra and his wife, princess Jahina (of Kashmir), entered the ancient city atop an elephant draped with gold and flowers. Mobs thronged the streets, praying and weeping and cheering. It was as though Krishna and Radha (see picture) had come upon the earth again, heralding an age of love and peace and harmony.
Afghanistan: Diplomacy: Sistan(fa), Registan(fa), Siahan(fa)
Pressured by the duke of Arnor, Shah Durani relented from assailing the Kushans with his full strength. This tasted sour in his mouth, however, for when did a Pashtun ever bow to a lowlander, much less to a Kushan dog? "Never," muttered Ahmad, scowling out a window in the fortress looming over Kabul. The snow in the mountains was particularly heavy of late. His lady wife looked at him questioningly, asking what made his heart so heavy, but the Shah only replied "Walls have mice and mice have ears."
His mood was not improved four months later when his daughter Mia took ill and died, or when (at the end of '50) he learned his younger brother Timur had been ambushed by Ghazis in Siahan and killed.
Kush: The prince made a rude face at the Afghans and took great solace in the revenues now flowing to his capital from lush, beautiful Kashmir.
1751 - 1752 T211
Arnor: Trusting to his lieutenants to either handle the peaceful transfer of Rajput from the Chandellan 'darkies' or to the martial prowess of the Afghan mercenaries he had hired, Peregrin betook himself south to Gwalior-fort and (after considerable dickering) secured wives for himself (Sarah von Buwald, Duchess of Gwalior) and his son Christian (Lady Devapati of Kalanjara).
Afghanistan: Willing to take Hussite gold to smack around some lowlanders, the entire Afghan army trooped down the Khyber Pass and along the Grand Trunk Road to Rajput. There was, however, no battle against the Chandellas, which caused a great deal of grumbling and complaining among the Pashtun troops. They had been looking forward to an epic smash'em'up against the vaunted 'Lion of Bundelkhand'. Instead, they spent '51 and '52 eyeing the silverware and counting the fat herds of the Arnor farmlands.
1753 - 1754 T212
Arnor: One of Peregrin's most trusted lieutenants - Abraham Von Helshing - was dispatched, in mufti, into the mountains of Afghanistan, looking for something that might only exist in the fevered mind of the Duke. In his journals, however, the ex-priest did record some striking images. While visiting the deserted streets of Ghazni, where once the vast tomb of Mahmud had stood he wrote:
In the ruins of that forgotten imperial city, from whence the proselytes of Allah surged forth in black armor to harry the lowlands with faith and fire, now given over to perdition and the faith of the Hindus high among those raw and massive knuckled peaks that scrape the blue gut of the sky like the bloated white arthritic joints of some giant slaughtered in biblical times.
Shahdom of Iran: Now the Iranians pressed the advance, plowing up the highway towards Lahore and Schiller and the Duke had to decide exactly what the devil they were going to do… the Afghans had returned to the mountains, the treacherous Chandellans were at their backside and the entire apparatus of government, as well as their only lifeline to Hussite Europe and aid was now in the hands of the Iranian dogs.
Afghanistan: While the lowlanders spent themselves in a particularly violent orgy of destruction, Ahmad Durani and his bodyguards made a circuitous journey through Ghazni and Baluch, watching with interest from the high peaks as various Iranian armies tramped past and Arnori agents got involved in scuffles with the locals and died horribly.
General Bahulan returned (safely) from the southlands just in time to avoid the Iranian invasion, his men laden with as much loot as they could carry. Now the Afghans sat on the heights of the Khyber and watched the fun with interest.
Kushans: The Kushans drilled ceaselessly and their border guards watched the Afghanis with an eagle eye. Everyone else was ignored.
1755 - 1756 T213
Shahdom of Iran: Efforts to establish a reliable census count in the newly conquered territories failed. Worried by this, Bukharm initiated a lengthy series of meetings in Schwarzcastel (now apparently the Iranian capital of convenience, particularly since Al’Harkam was now promised to the Afghans in an attempt to keep the Pashtuns from sweeping down from the Khyber and slaughtering everyone) with the leaders of the Hussite community.
Afghanistan: Minded their own business.
1757 - 1758 T214
Shahdom of Iran: Even more troubling, the citizens of Carmania (a poor and destitute province, particularly by Persian standards) wholeheartedly embraced the Karidjite revisionism introduced by Tewfiki merchants constantly coming and going from the port. All this was noted in the travel journals of an Afghan soldier named Akmed Bahulan who traveled to the port of Al-Harkam in ’57 and then returned to his mountainous home in ’58, having failed in his mission for Shah Durani of Kabul.
Afghanistan: A mission sent to the southern provinces returned with empty hands, having been turned away by the Iranians in Al-Harkam.
1759 – 1760 T215
Baluchistan: Punjab was reduced and then Und. The Hussite populations of both provinces were ‘liberated’. Prince Solomon, in fact, found himself married to a likely Punjabi girl. Then John Abraham raised his eyes to the rampart of the Hindu Kush, to the narrow valley above Peshawar which formed the mouth of the Khyber Pass and he said:
“Advance! On, to the roof of the world!”
So did the Hussite Baluchis open their war against the Durrani dynasty in Kabul.
Afghanistan: For his part, Ahmad Durrani had been very, very careful to keep out of the wars in India. His mountain kingdom was more than enough trouble for him – what with the feuding clans and the restive Hazaras and the Persian refugees and all of the strange religious groups creeping from cave to cave in the mountains. He had, however, joined the various kings and shahs of Persia, Iran and Prester John in settling the matter of Al’Qadir and his fate by establishing the Knights of Tamerlane.
As part of that, Akhmed Bahulan, the Afghan shah’s uncle, had been sent south with the entire Royal Army (as opposed to the various tribal warbands owing Ahmad fealty, as will become apparent) to secure the province of Carmania and the city of Al-Harkam, which would now be an Afghan possession.
Ahmad, in fact, had marched his Kabul City Rifles and the artillery battery down to Baluchistan (the province, not the nation) to reinforce Akhmed’s forces in case Al-Harkam had to be taken by siege. While the shah was away, then, the Hussite Baluchistanis (the nation, not the province) came swarming up the Khyber and besieged Kabul.
The only notable in the city was Queen Zuhra, who found herself defending the capital with a thousand militia and various household retainers against 12,000 Hussite infantry commanded by John Abraham. Prince Solomon took the rest of the Baluchi army (all cavalry) and set about subjugating the countryside.
After only a month of shelling (and some fancy mining work by the Hussite siege engineers) in the spring of 1760, the Baluchis broke into Kabul, slaughtered the defenders and hung Zuhra from a palace window to choke her life out.
The next month (with the winter snow finally clearing from the roads) Ahmad Durani stormed into Afghanistan at the head of an army of 16,000 crazy-mad Pashtun horse and jezailmen. Prince Solomon’s cavalry army engaged the relief column at Kowt-e-Ashrow with 12,000 Hussite lancers, scouts and hussars.
Confident in the ability of his men to defeat some ragged tribesmen, Solomon plowed into the midst of the Afghans, who scattered like a cloud of dust, and his heavy horse charged directly into a hidden ditch. Durani’s jezailmen raked the confused cavalry with volley-fire worthy of the Swedish Imperial Guard and shattered the hussars. The hussars, furious, fought their way out of the ditch and clove into the jezailmen at hand-to-hand. Unfortunately for them, the rest of Solomon’s army broke, now attacked on all sides as the Pashtuns swept back in from the hills, and fled for Kabul.
The hussars, abandoned, were butchered.
Durani looked upon Kabul from a distance and listened to the reports of his scouts and others who had fled the fall of the capital.
“We will wait,” he decided, seeing the strength of the enemy. “They will find the winter in Kabul is cruel as a knife.”
Durani then withdrew into Hazarajat to bide his time.
In the south, meanwhile, Akhmed Bahulan and the Royal Army had marched out of the hills and into Carmania – all ready and willing to shoot it up – and found the Iranians waiting for them with a key to the city. Having turned over the province, the Iranians (now Knights of Tamerlane) rode off to the north to their new fortress near Bukhara.
Bahulan was quite pleased to accept the fealty of the city fathers, to leave some troops around, taste the local cuisine and then receive news from the north of the Baluchi invasion.
“What?! Stinking Baluchi pig-dogs. We’ll teach them a lesson!”
Bahulan’s army invaded Edrosia in the spring of ’60 (wait... this is starting to sound very familiar) and had advanced to within sight of the miniscule (but now present!) walls of Schwarzkastel when, from the north, an exhausted Carthaginian army came marching at all speed (some elements had started ’59 in Pandya...).
Major Le Blanc (of the Frankish Foreign Legion) commanded the Carthaginian force. He led 14,000 European troops (and even eight zeppelins) into battle against the 18,000 Afghanis at Nazimabad. As it turned out, the far-more-capable skill of Bahulan offset the Carthaginians advantages in the air, and (for a wonder) the Afghans had more and better artillery in the field... the result was a stand-up slugging match which lasted two full days of smoke, steel and carnage under the blazing Indian sun.
After losing far too many men, Le Blanc elected to break off – covered by a screen of his Berber light horse and the airships, who plagued the Afghani cavalry with a rain of caltrops and gunpowder bombs. Unfortunately, Bahulan scented blood and his own Hazara scouts might lack eyes in the sky, but were not to be underestimated in any terrain... a second ferocious battle erupted a week later, within sight of Schwarzkastel itself.
This time the Carthaginians managed to throw back the Afghani attacks and Bahulan decided to withdraw himself. Like ghosts, the Afghani force withdrew into the mountains. Le Blanc, counting himself incredibly lucky to have survived with any troops at all, limped into Schwarz and began digging in. They had 3,600 men left who could be counted on to fight.
Knights of Tamerlane: The Timurhadeen resolved to observe the rights of any non-heretical strain of Islam in a country recognizing the Order. They foreswore seeking to sow discord between Sunni and Shia, but rather to seek reconciliation. Agreements were struck to return the province of Bandar and the city of Ormuz to Persia, while Carmania and Al-Harkam were granted to Afghanistan.
Other allotments and gifts were made by the rulers of Persia, Afghanistan, the House of Tewfik and Prester John, including lands and revenues in Samarkhand, Merv, Kophat Dagh, Rayy, Khiva, Dzambul, Ufra, Tabaristan, Transoxania, Bokhara and Sinkiang.
1761 – 1762 T216
Baluchistan: The fiscal collapse afflicting the Arnori also kept them from closing a land-grant deal which would have shifted Tarain to Arnori hands. With no cash on hand at all, the Baluchi army in Afghanistan rioted, King John was wounded, and then abandoned when everyone went home in disgust. The King then had a very narrow scrape getting out of Afghan lands with his head on his shoulders. The Durrani adherents captured the previous year seized back their capital once the Hussite dogs had fled.
Afghanistan: Unlike the benighted Baluchis, the Afghans were able to secure loans and grain from the Persian state which let Ahmad pay his troops and keep things more-or-less together. The dissolution of the Hussite army at Kabul was surely the grace of Allah, allowing Durani to enter the city in the spring of ’61, victorious and acclaimed by cheering crowds. Queen Zuhra was very happy to greet her husband and see peace restored to the land.
Late in ’62, a pair of Union-built airships appeared in the dusty skies over Kabul and settled to a landing at the freshly built aerodrome near the farming village of Bagram, just outside the city. These two brand-new zeppelins had been acquired by the young captain Abdul Ahad Mohmed, who had made a dangerous journey east to secure them from Baghdad.
Islamic Union: An Afghan airship captain, accompanied by a coterie of guardsmen, arrived in ’61 to retrieve two zeppelins completed several years previously at the Baghdad Airship Works. After fueling, some training and praying very religiously, they departed for the east.
1763 – 1764 T217
Afghanistan: His own sons dead, old Ahmad designated his nephew Zaman as heir to his throne. Otherwise, peace reigned in the high cold valleys of Afghanistan.
1765 – 1766 T218
Afghanistan: Diplomacy Ghazni (hates Afghans!), Registan (ˇnt), Siahan (^t)
Normal relations resumed with Baluchistan.
1767 – 1768 T219
Afghanistan: The Afghans herded their sheep and feuded with each other, ignoring the lowlanders. The famine afflicting the whole of Persia and the Middle-East plagued the Pashtuns as well.
Afghanistan: Diplomacy Dasht'e'lute (^f)
Old Ahmad retired to Kabul with his armies, ignoring -for once - the entreaties of the lowland kings to interfere in their petty squabblings. It was meet the old lion should slink back to his lair, for the Shah took sick on the road home and lay dead before the snows had lifted from the passes in '69. One gift he left his son Zaman, a peaceable kingdom where the middle-aged prince could ascend the throne without dispute. Old Arvayan, the prince of the Dasht'e soon followed his master in
- Zaman Durani 1769-date
- Ahmad Durani 1739-1769
- T205-date (1739-date) Alex Evans
- T???-T204 (1737-1738) Tim Joyce
Last updated: 30 March 2005
© 2003 Robert Pierce © 2005 Martin Helsdon