Baluchistan, Kingdom of
Capital: Multan in Sukkur
Religion: Hussite Christian
By Martin Helsdon
A Hussite state in India arising from the defeat of the short-lived Iranian state on the north-west plains.
Still to be written.
1757 - 1758 T214
Shahdom of Iran: The Hussites, who had now organized themselves under the overall command of John Abraham of Bauluch laid siege to the city with a portion of their force while the rest harried the Iranian settlers out of their newly won homes. While this second round of slaughter and misery transpired, Al-Jawzi had learned of the revolt and had daringly led his horsemen across the wasteland of Jats to arrive all asudden in Edrosia itself. Then the Iranians dashed east, trying to meet up with Gudarz in Carmania.
Unfortunately they now traveled in an entirely hostile countryside, where every herdsmen, shepherd and milkmaid was a hostile spy. Al-Jawzi and his riders were caught at Khosal, a dozen miles east of the Grand Trunk Road by Abraham’s pashtun horse-archers. Despite great personal bravery, Al-Jawzi’s command was destroyed on a dusty afternoon and the daring captain taken a prisoner.
John Abraham now spent the last months of ’58 besieging Schwarzcastel (oh, unhappy city!). This time the port was fortified and defended – but against the markedly superior siege skills of the Hussites, the Persian defense was doomed. Of course, they suffered too without a fleet to support them with supplies (though there were Carthaginian and Albanian ships aplenty in the nearby waters…) and no one knew the byways of the old port as well as those who had grown up in it’s once beautiful streets. Al’Bahram was captured with the last of his men.
Baluchistan: Now John Abraham was master of a domain forged in fire and steel – Edrosia, Bauluch, Sind, Jats, Ajmer, Sukkur, Sahis, Tarain and Peshawar in Und. The Chitori once more ruled themselves and Peregrin of Arnor stewed in his own bile in Kanauj, stripped of his birthright once more.
1759 – 1760 T215
Chandella: With the Southern League weak and divided, and the Arnor licking their wounds and Baluchistan engulfed in war (again), Singh took a peaceful two years to shuffle armies about, repair damage to the countryside and do some long-needed diplomacy.
Baluchistan: Diplomacy Multan (^a), Punjab (^a)
Bolstered by a paltry smattering of foreign aid, John Abraham managed to set things aright enough in Schwarzkastel to see about instituting a new census and getting some public services up and about. A few merchant ships dared the port, bringing in some desperately needed trade as well. A trade agreement was signed with the Albanian East India Company (whose tenacious fingers were digging ever deeper into the Indian economy), granting the ‘honorable gentlemen’ concessions in cotton and pepper. Substantial aid was received in turn.
Having seen their peace-keeping effort fail utterly, the Qing forces in the Persian Gulf (at Mei Guo in Muscat) picked up their shoes and went home. An undisclosed number of ships were ‘lent’ to the House of Tewfik before the fleet departed. At the same time, four swift frigates were sent west to Carthage, carrying an honor guard for the Empress Ye Geema, whose husband was in something of a pickle.
John Abraham also betook to reduce the immediate pressures on his government by granting the town of Multan a charter as a free city and reducing the alliance with Jats and Ajmer to merely non-paying tributary. After dealing with these matters, the King marched his army north (accompanied by Prince Solomon) and invaded the Punjab, intending to root out the last of the Iranians loitering about there.
The Baluchistanis, meantime, had punched into Punjab and found the province defended by a very strong Iranian garrison – and one which now found itself on its own, as the Iranian shah had abdicated his throne (see Iran). Sadly, no matter how strong their fortified cantonments were, barely three thousand Iranians just could not withstand the fierce assaults of 24,000 Baluchis.
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: Bukharm accepted his fate, bitter though it seemed, and turned his face to the future.
In this late hour, I realize that holding together the Shahdom of Iran is hopeless. The Hussite Kingdom of Baluchistan cannot be held, and my remaining provinces are too weak to stand alone.
1761 – 1762 T216
Arnor: Needless to say, given all the product testing and scientific “inquiry” that the Duke and his court undertook, it was something of a small wonder that Peregrin managed to find the energy to not only visit Tarain after sending some small funds to the Baluchistani rebels, but also found a wife for his younger son, Saul.
Baluchistan: The precarious state of the Baluchi kingdom plunged directly off the side of a cliff when the Kashmir House failed to deliver a great deal of money John Abraham needed to keep his government afloat. 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.
Prince Solomon, who had headed back to Schwarzcastel to try and right the foundering ship of state, likewise fell into a dispute with his guardsmen on the road to Edrosia. His cavalry departed in disgust, after stealing his pistols and anything else of value. After slogging down miles of dusty road, Solomon reached the putative capital to find Duke Brevet of Tarain busily looting the government offices and packing everything off for sale.
Fighting erupted between Solomon and the few loyalists remaining. Brevet was seized and executed, but not before much damage had been done. Both Queen Inaya and princess Irina were found hiding in a sewage tunnel, having nearly been sold to Moslem slave traders. Intermittent rioting in Schwarz blackened the sky with smoke. Luckily, Baron Gabor of Multan and Paikal of Punjab remained loyal to the crown, rescuing John Abraham from the Khyber and sending troops to restore order in the south.
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.
Knights of Tamerlane: Poor Mahmoud al’Basrah continued to languish in a Baluchi prison.
Safavid Persia: Bahram seemed very pleased with the near-disintegration of the Baluchi state, the restoration of the Durrani dynasty in Kabul, the poverty of the Arnori and the general pallor of exhaustion which had fallen over India.
1763 – 1764 T217
Danrajastahn: More to the point, however, the continuous infusion of capital from points east and west allowed the Arnori to complete implementation of the Lisbon Accords, to expand the cities of Kanauj and Somnath, to pay off the Baluchistanis for territories recently acquired and to prop up the Southern League government (though Kuhman Singh was busily slaughtering the southerners, which just brought a tear to Peregrin’s eye.)
Baluchistan: Diplomacy Peshawar in Und (^a)
Despite a poor fiscal situation, Saul managed to beg, borrow and steal sufficient funds to set his ship of state aright. Gold and grain flowed into Schwarzcastel from Danrajastahn, from the Albanians and from the Qing (who were, of course, meddling), where the city was ringed with hurried new construction – the ancient walls were rising once more, mightier than ever. Even the airship yards there were once more in production. The army which had disintegrated due to lack of pay two years previously was reconstituted, rearmed and given fresh uniforms and boots.
The city of Peshawar in Und was granted a ‘free city charter’, allowing them to raise their own militia, set tariffs, etc.
1765 – 1766 T218
Baluchistan: Diplomacy Punjab (ˇea)
A diplomatic squabble between Baron Gabor of Multan and the Punjabis resulted in Lord Paikal returning home in a huff.
Sadly, Duchess Inaya Amelia (wife of John Saul) took ill in th winter of ’66 and passed away soon afterwards. A stately funeral was held for the lady, attended by her grief-stricken husband. Her son, Solomon was not present, being in the east, patrolling the Arnori border with a large army.
Afghanistan: Normal relations resumed with Baluchistan.
1767 – 1768 T219
Baluchistan: John Saul and his court lazed in the hot, Indian sun, sipping tea and laughing behind their hands about the Danarajahoohoos. Of course, then something bad happened… this is India, after all!
Kushan: With his northern border thus secured (and his troops paid with weighty Persian coin), he then turned his attention south… to India, where millions of his co-religionists languished under the Hussite lash. The hosts of Kashmir and Khotan alike were gathered, lance-tips shining like living stars, and Bujayapendra went to war – the Hindu army swept down out of the Kushan hills and into fertile, well-watered Und. Riders went ahead of the army, stopping in every hamlet and village, promising an end to the tyranny of the Hussite invaders.
The Hindu underclass, however, had heard that before and they kept their heads low, waiting to see if the Sword of Saiva would vanquish the feringhee white-eye devils and their Moslem servants or not… in any case John Solomon of Baluchistan stood nearby with his army in Lahore and marched immediately to drive these “hill-men and rabble” back into the mountains. The baron of Multan, Gabor Derwent, and Carloman von Per, the baron of Peshawar marched as well, bringing their own levies into the fray.
At Mardan below the Malakand pass, the Hussites mustered twenty thousand men and 12 scout zeppelins against the 26,000 Kushites and Ghaznavar. Though outnumbered (and having already allowed the invaders through the bottleneck at Malakand due to disputes on the march between Derwent and von Per) John Solomon put his trust in the heavy guns of his Hussite batteries and the long eyes of his zeppelins. The Hussites advanced, bringing their guns to bear on the Hindu positions in a series of orchards just north of the town.
An artillery duel ensued as the Hussite riflemen advanced in loose formation and their airships began winging bombs and rockets down into the orchards. Almost immediately, John Solomon received an unexpected surprise – despite his heavy guns and superbly trained crews, the Kushan field pieces outranged his and their batteries were matching his shot for shot. The Hussite advance grew ragged, torn by bursts of fire. John Solomon ordered his infantry to halt and the guns run forward.
The Kushan left, seeing the motion of the enemy, surged forth from cover, their Ghaznavar light horse speeding recklessly across the field. At the same time, the airships circling overhead came under heavy shot from the long-bore Hindu guns. Facing unexpected fire, the airships broke away from the field to gain height. The Hussite right wing, commanded by Derwent, turned to face the hill-bandits, guns wheeling to rain fire into the charging lancers.
Sensing his moment in the confusion, Bujayapendra ordered a general charge by his heavy cavalry into the Hussite van. Expecting to face infantry and guns in the close confines of the trees, the Hussite riflemen were taken aback to face a charge of hussars and grenadiers. Now the Hindu guns were raining shot and explosive shells into the scrambling artillery batteries moving forward…
A hard-fought action followed and John Solomon was forced to yield the field after a bloody day. Hussite losses were heavy, though they held order and made an orderly retreat behind the screen of their remaining airships. Von Per’s surviving troops then holed up behind the pitiful walls of Peshawar while John Solomon and the main body of the army fell back into the Punjab.
Bujayapendra now concentrated his attention upon Peshawar, which proved wise as Von Per was a poor leader of men. Hammered by the Kushan guns, the city fell within a fortnight. Von Per surrendered rather cravenly before even one Hindu kshatriya had died on the ramparts.
Learning of this at his camp in the Punjab, John Solomon swore bitterly – but with his army now outnumbered two-to-one by the Hindus – he could only throw barricades across the roads and dig in, hoping the Kushans would throw themselves upon his guns. Bujayapendra, meanwhile, was in the thick of a dispute with the crowd of Brahmins which had sprung up from nowhere to ‘advise’ him upon the rule of Und.
Two months after Peshawar had fallen, the Kushan army took to the field again, burning churches and mosques and shooting any priest or mullah they could find. This deviltry then inspired the remaining Hussite population to rise up in open revolt, while the Hindus also rose up in a vicious orgy of murder and arson directed at their oppressors.
John Solomon wasted no time in marching his army north into the chaos – both to succor the rebellious (and fleeing) Hussites – and in hopes of catching the Hindu army by surprise. Despite his hopes, however, John Solomon marched directly into an ambush just beyond Kohat, where the Hindu prince had deftly maneuvered his army into flanking position. Once more, the Ghaznavari light horse – let run wild in Und to torch and burn – had lured the Hussites out of position.
John Solomon’s army was destroyed. The prince himself was captured, while Baron Derwent was killed on the field and his body dragged behind a captured cassion into Peshawar. The Hussite rising was then thoroughly crushed and their estates and lands properly apportioned by the Brahmins. Thousands of Christians fled south or east into the Punjab and Sahis, rightly terrified by the atrocities which had taken place.
All throughout India, no Moslem or Hussite now slept easy in their beds at night…
Grivpani i’ Timurlenk: Rumors of war and turmoil echoed out of the east and Bukharm had a good hearty laugh at the failure of the Baluchis to fend off the Great Prince of Astakana. (That the Hindu army was well-equipped with Persian artillery was a delightful coincidence not lost upon the Grand Master.)
Baluchistan: Though some surreptitious conversations with the damnable Arnori had begun, the death of John Saul (at Schwarzkastel) in late winter of '69 put forfeit all such plans. Prince Solomon, still a captive of the Kushans in Peshawar learned of his father's fate by letter - dispatched by his wife Irina, who was then regent-pro-tem of the still-unsteady Baluchi state. Solomon then begged an audience with his captor, King Bujayapendra and pleaded leave to exercise his dharma and assume the mantle of kingship in Schwarzcastel. Given the opportunity to drive a hard bargain, the Hindu king arranged the release of the prince in exchange for the provinces of Punjab, Sahis and the cities therein. Solomon was grateful for the opportunity to gain his freedom and a small respite for his people, who had suffered greatly of late.
He rode south, and was soon joined by long trains of Hussite refugees fleeing the Kushan advance. Riot and rebellion dogged Solomon's heels, and the skies over Lahore were soon lit with flames roaring among the houses and villas of the departing Europeans.
Kushan: The prince was quite pleased to deny the Hussite dogs in Kanauj the realm of the Baluchis, and to seize two more rich provinces without battle. There were shots fired, of course, for the remaining Europeans in both Punjab and Sahis had to be helped on their way south. The economies of both provinces suffered mightily in the helping, but there was little to be done about that at this juncture. The Kushan army advanced to Lahore and made camp while the Blessed One secured the administration of his new domains. Now Dehli was within striking distance…
- John Solomon 1769-date
- John Saul 1763-1769
- John Abraham 1757-1762
- Ivan Mostinckx T214-T219
Last updated 30 March 2005