Chandellas, Emirate of the

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Information

Foundation: 1749-date
Capital: Bundelkand in Chandela
Religion: Shi'a Islam

By Martin Helsdon

Description

A Moslem emirate in eastern India arising from the ruin of Yasarid India and a botched attempted by the Arnori to convert Moslems to Hussite Christianity.

The History:

Still to be written.

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1749 – 1750 T210
Arnor: Missionary work continued in the east, in Chandella, with explosive results…

Aleruk Svornad had been sent down to Jaunpur with a force of 2,000 Prince’s Own Hussars to see about convincing the Moslem inhabitants of the province to pack up and leave – “off to Persia with you then, my lads.” Unfortunately, this forced migration (always a nasty business, though Svornad was trying to be merciful towards the wogs, donch’a know) combined with a simmering hate of the Hussites throughout Moslem India and the eruption of a religious jihad in Chandella, where the Hussite priests had taken to throwing buckets of pig-fat into mosques at random hours, to spark a religiously-motivated revolt all across Chandella, Jihjoti, Jaunpur and Maghada.

First, the city of Kaunaj (still ruled by an emir) closed up its doors and threw all the Hussites out into the fields. Lord Katlerstahl (having just completed negotiations with the local Hussite landowners) immediately invested Kaunaj with the local militia. South of the Ganges, the Jihjoti and the Chandellas (after murdering all the Hussites they could find) crossed in Jaunpur.

Now, princess Arwen and ancient Brigadier Parachal had been encamped in Jaunpur with a cavalry army and they were in the process of chasing down the locals (with their airships, no less) when they ran into the Chandella and Jihjohti contigents. A lively set-to then occurred at Bansgaon between 8,000-odd Moslems and 5,000 Ducal Guards, assorted Princess’ Own Hussars and the Multan City Battery. Despite completely deceiving the Arnori sky patrols, the superior firepower and élan of the Arnori troops proved decisive against the ill-equipped Moslems. The rabble where thrown back across the river.

Arwen, her ire sparked by this affront, pressed the pursuit hard, leading her forces into Chandella at full speed. Khuman Singh, the brilliant prince of the Chandellas, ambushed her army at Azamgahr and soundly defeated the superior Hussite force. Both princess Arwen and Parachal were killed when their command brigade was overrun by Jihjoti hill-men and the remainder of the Ducal army scattered in disarray. Singh was pleased to capture so many fine horses. Now his entire force could ride. He crossed into Maghada.

There, Svornad and his 5,000 hussars had managed to fight their way out of the province and into Jaunpur (leaving behind a horrible series of massacres which annihilated the Hussite settlers in Maghada and left Bihar city a smoking ruin). This allowed Singh to join up with the Maghadan prince’s men, then strike northeast along the Grand Trunk Road into Rajput itself. By the time Singh’s army had reached Kaunaj, the remains of Arwen’s army had straggled in to join Katlerstahl and his militia, as well as Morgan Drake, the baron of Gwalior and his feudatory levies, who had come up from the south.

The Hussite forces now numbered 11,000 men against 8,000, so Baron Drake pressed an engagement and Singh fell back in disarray – harried by the Hussite airships – into the town of Kakori, outside of Lucknow. Drake’s men swept out to envelop the town and the airship Constance ate a barrage of light rockets. The flat slap of a mammoth boom as the zeppelin blew apart from stem to stern signaled Singh’s double-envelopment. Another three thousand men, hidden in drainage ditches along the Hussite line of advance, charged into Drake’s flank as Singh’s heavy horse (now mounted on the fine equines of the Princess’ Own Guard) charged out of the cover of the town.

In the ensuing disaster, Kalterstahl managed to escape with the survivors of the Ducal Guard and fled into Uttar Pradesh. Drake and Svornad were both slain and nearly the entire army was wiped out. Peregrin would not be pleased when he received the news. Singh, for his part, was welcomed as a liberator in Kaunaj, though he did not attempt to garrison the town. Nor did he subject the Hussite landowners of Rajput to massacre and confiscation, at least… not yet.

Emirate of the Chandellas: Diplomacy Kaunaj in Rajput(ea)
The Chandella emirs wound up controlling Chandela, Maghada, Jaunpur, Rajput and Jihjoti.

1751 - 1752 T211
Chandellas: Having put the veritable fear of Allah into the Hussite scum, Kuhman Singh was cautiously pleased to accept an embassy from Von Hessen. After some tense negotiations a kind of peace descended on the Gangetic plain. In return for paying the Chandellas a staggering tribute, Singh agreed to abandon the province of Rajput to the Christians. The Moslem citizens of Kaunaj were packed off down the highway to live in shacks and tent cities around Bundelkhand and Bihar. In this way they escaped the hanging noose, the cross and the saber of the Hussites.

Though everyone expected treachery and deceit, all sides abided by the truce and there were no massacres. Not yet, at least. The League and the Yasarids seemed to be doing a fine job of keeping the flames of Hussite/Moslem animosity hot.

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
Chandellas: Treaty arrangements went ahead with the Arnori - Singh dispatched a heavy tribute to keep the Hussites from his door, and issued a variety of edicts commanding the Moslem populations to Jaunpur and Maghada to migrate south of the Ganges, where "new lands would be made available for settlement."

Unfortunately, while Singh and his army stormed into Nadavaria -intending to wrest a new empire from the corpse of the Yasarid state - none of his captains moved north to assure the movement of so many people… as a result, the citizens of Jaunpur and Maghada stayed put and became rather bellicose. "Leave our homes! For those Hussite lapdogs? Never!"

Regardless, Singh and his troops marched victoriously through Nadavaria, capturing the city of Aliyesha with ease and thence into Kalinga. Here the Lion of the North faced his first real test… Eon and Tihana had hurried back from Vengi to deal with this "base treachery!"

Now the whim of fate had turned, and prince-regent Eon and his 11,000 Yasarids were at grips with 18,000 Chandellans. The collision at Baleshwar was vicious - the Yasarids were filled with an all-consuming fury - and the duel of wits and skill between Eon and Kuhman Singh was a thing of beauty. Yet still Singh held the advantage in mobility, in men, in guns and his was the superior mind… the Yasarid army was soundly defeated and the survivors scattered, plagued by the lances and sabers of Singh's Afghan light horse.

In the ensuing rout, the Yasarid army was scattered, Tihana was killed and Eon captured and dragged before Singh in chains. Out of respect for the Axumite's prowess, the Lion spared his life and sent him off to rot in a cell in the newly captured port of Khalil. The Lion then turned his attention inland, to the Yasarid capital of Yathrib.

While Singh marched inland and seized an undefended Yathrib (along with the cowering remains of the Yasarid government and the Shi'a Imam to boot), his son Kumar and lord Ahnam swept outwards to secure the provinces of Vengi and Chela. Despite this seemingly fatal blow, the Yasarid state did not collapse.

In fact, prince Mahmud (the eldest of Tihana's children) was proclaimed shah in Ahvaz, where he was the guest of the bey. The Yasarids would fight on! With… with something. Sadly for their hopes, Mahmud was murdered within a month. Dark cloaked men entered his bedchamber and strangled him, while a helpless concubine looked on in horror.

Later, she related the assassins had said "debts to the Nine must be paid, princeling, with your soul…" This left the captive Eon of Axum the putative ruler of the remaining Yasarid domains - for about two months, before he was whisked out of Chandellan captivity by another group of cloaked, mysterious men and he did not resurface.

Arnor: Stretching the Ducal resources to the limit, Peregrin robbed every farmstead, home and hovel in the northwest to gather a huge mob of loyal Hussite citizens… who were marched down the Ganges to for the express purpose of colonizing some provinces the Duke expected to be vacated by the Chandellans.

So, down in the lowlands, Maximillian Schiller (with the Duke in tow) gathered his forces at Gwalior and then marched on Jaunpur. Upon entering the Chandellan province, however, he found that the Moslem natives were still there in force, and his advance parties were attacked by angry natives.

"Treachery," the general sighed, having expected no less. He looked to Duke Peregrin. "Sir?

"Kill them all!"

As a result, the Arnori army pitched into Jaunpur with a vengenance, slaughtering every Moslem they could find, hanging whole villages, burning mosques by the dozen and generally attempting to methodically and coolly exterminate an entire class of society… despite frenzied attacks by the natives, the Hussite artillery and airships slaughtered those few men left able to fight and then the infantry regiments fixed bayonets and began wading in blood.

Within three months, an involuntary tide of refugees were choking the roads south and east into Chandellan territory and an equal crowd of Hussite settlers was spilling in from the north-east. Casualties were rather heavy for the Arnori, including Prince David - killed by a native woman with a cleaver who caught him unawares at the latrines. Still, after about six months of fighting, the province was subdued. Settlement had begun in earnest when the Duke received stunning news from home.

The Persians had invaded.

1755 - 1756 T213
Southern League: Meantime, a second arrangement had been struck between the League and the Chandellans. Under these terms (mostly secret) the newly rebuilt League army moved north and invaded the ex-Yasarid province of Dahala. The rajah of Tripuri – having just received a letter from Bundelkhand informing him he was now a vassal of the Chandellas – hurried to gather his men into the city and dispatched messengers to Kuhman Singh, pleading for assistance.

Farther south, a proposed expedition to capture Chola (also now a Chandellan possession) was scuttled by the necessity of Baron Stephen’s army to remain in Pandya and Mozul as a garrison.

Chandellas: Diplomacy Princess Jinma’s patrimony (^f), Maghada (^f)
Buddhist missionary work continued to plague the eastern Moslems, though with the troubles afflicting the Pure Realm hierarchy, their effort was rather weak. The Buddhists made some gains in Gaur and the city of Leakai, but lost ground in Palas, Samatata and Assam.

Singh was riding in the hills of Maghada when he came upon a ragged troop of sirdars sitting beside the road. With a single glance he realized who they were and waved his guardsmen back. Alone, he rode up to the head of the column, where a dejected-looking Bengali in a turban was picking stones out of his horses’ hoof.

“Good day, sir.” Singh said politely. “You and your men look like you’ve come a long way.”

“We have,” growled the Bengali, looking up. With the Indian sun blazing behind the rider, he could not really see his face. “This wretched hill country is hard on the horses and worse on the men… we’ve not eaten in two days.”

“My estate is not far, hajji. I would be greatly honored if you and your followers would join me for dinner. There are many of you, I grant, but my house has ever been hospitable to travelers.”

The Bengali stared at the man on the horse suspiciously. He should continue on – he had resolved upon a plan… but the road was long, he was exhausted, his men were becoming restless, and there was something about this backwoods nobleman that implied grace and trust alike. “Very well, sir. We will be your guests for a day.”

“For as long as you would care to stay.” The man on the horse turned, pointing back down the road. “Only two miles on there is a junction. I will have servants waiting to direct you, with water for your men and horses.”

The Bengali swallowed, suddenly abashed. He recognized, at last, the man’s profile. Kuhman Singh, the Lion of Bundelkhand!

Lord Dhenuka’s heart eased and for the first time in months he felt as if he could sleep easy when night came.

General Ahnam marched off into the south, making his way down the Bengali coast. The province of Chela was granted to the Southern League (and for a wonder, did not immediately revolt). Ahnam took custody of Madurai and Zefara for his king before entering Chola to a tumultuous and ecstatic welcome by the citizens. News had sped before the Lion’s general, bringing word the Princess Jinma had been adopted by the Chandellan rajah. Muslim India was once more united.

Much to the surprise of most pundits in South India, the long-independent rajah of Polonarva (keeping very quiet indeed on Ceylon) agreed to accept the protection and overlordship of the Republic of Sud Afriqa. The presence of a strong RSA fleet and a very sizable army in his lands probably helped, plus the prospect of being shielded from the insanity on the mainland.

1757 - 1758 T214
Thai Empire: General Nai-thim kept a ready watch on the frontier. He was not so sure the peace with the Chandellans would hold, not when every mosque was filled with the Muslim faithful praying the Lion of Bundelkhand would ride to their rescue. The fleet was withdrawn – the Moslems didn’t have any warships and the sailors were homesick.

Chandellas: Diplomacy Seylan (^t)/Polonarva (^nt)
Granted a bit of breathing space by the general cessation of hostilities on the sub-continent, Singh ordered the usually formidable defenses of Bundelkhand improved and the ruined port city of Khalil in Kalinga occupied and restored. Other good news was had when princess Jinma (last of the Yasarid royalty) arrived via Norsk packet ship from Lisbon and was wed to young prince Kumar Singh. Throughout the old Yasarid lands, all the Moslem nobles shed a tear of joy to see the old and the new dynasties bound by blood in the eyes of Allah.

Things were less rosy in Dahala, where a Southern League army was trying to wrinkle the emir of Tripuri out of his home by spearpoint. With a heavy heart, Kuhman Singh wrote the rajah a sad letter indicating the recent peace placed Dahala in the Hussite sphere of influence… there would be no relieving army. Despite this blow to their morale, the Dahalans refused to submit to the Hussite dogs!

1759 – 1760 T215
Chandellas: Diplomacy Pundra (^t), Polonarva on Seylan (^t)
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.

Shi’a Imamat: Rhemini’s failure to establish the Imamate as a going concern, and the indolence (in religious matters) of the Chandellas, let the Buddhist clergy pressing their faith in eastern Bengal have a clear field of play... Assam and Gaur became Buddhist, while the last Shi’a were driven out of Palas.

Southern League: Lucky that the Chandellans decided to stay home, the League counted the bags of gold delivered by the Albanian legate in Fornost and tried to keep their heads above water.

Arnor: Strangely, war had lifted its bloody hand from the Arnor realm as well as from Chandella.

1761 – 1762 T216
Chandellas: Diplomacy Pundra (^a)
Things were quiet and peaceful in Chandellan lands.

1763 – 1764 T217
Chandellas: Diplomacy Dahala (^a), Chela (^fa)
Ever needful of cash, the Chandellas filled countless Albanian hulls with wheat, rice and corn. Prince Kuhman then turned about, taking that same ready cash, and mustered his armies at Bundelkhand. With tens of thousands of Moslem ghulams looking on, he declared:

The armies of Chandella come not as conquerors, but as liberators, and we call on our neighbors to abandon their claims to historically Muslim India. Nobody wishes to see this region plunge again into war. But nor can the house of Singh retreat from its duty to protect its lands and people. We wish only for peace and have no plans for expansion. But as long as outsiders intrude on our fort of faith - through force of arms or foul apostasy - Chandella remains ready to fight.

Immediately thereafter Kuhman himself marched east, while Ghotangar Senghor rode off south, each with a goodly third of the mustered lances and muskets of the realm. Remaining at Bundelkhand, prince Kumar attempted to truly united the royal houses of Chandella and Yasar in blood, but Princess Yinma (though she did become pregnant) died in childbirth along with a still-born daughter.

The duty and tolls officers along the Ganges eyed an enormous surge in Arnori river traffic from their port at Varanasi out to the ocean with envy and wondered how much coin would come into their hands if all those ships were properly taxed...

Southern League: King Robert, meantime, had been keeping an eye on things in Dahala, but now left a garrison there and marched south into Chera to negotiate with the local raji. Within three months, however, the Lion of the North and half the Chandellan army had burst over the Maikala Range, forded the Narmada and approached Tripuri at a decent clip, while huge mobs of Dahalans lined the roads, cheering the banners of Islam has they returned to the Deccan.

The Hussite lords rallied to meet the invasion – Robert and Baron Stephan of Chera were closest to hand and they managed to reach Tripuri before Prince Kuhman with some 7,000 Leaguers. Unfortunately, neither Robert nor Stephan were even vaguely in the same league as Kuhman Singh (who was rivaled as a field commander only by the Russian Suvorov), not did they enjoy his advantages in light horse or popular support. As a result, Kuhman mouse-trapped the Hussite army on the hot, dusty plain south of Tripuri at Dongargarh and utterly annihilated the League army.

Indeed, the Chandellan cavalry was careful to sweep wide around the embattled Hussites while Singh’s center hammered the League infantry and guns to splinters, just to make sure not a single Christian escaped the trap. King Robert and Baron Stephan were both slain, along with every single man they commanded. Singh then advanced, victorious into Tripuri – which threw open it’s gate to him – and then drove the Hussites from Chela before retiring over the mountains into Kosala.

With Robert dead, Joseph of Satava declared himself King of the South and master of the League. The Kakatiyan and Cheran lands were immediately attaindered to the ‘state’, by which they fell into Satavan hands.

But the assault on the League was not yet done… Ghotangar Singhor and the other Chandellan army had marched south along the coast, eventually reaching – and invading – the rich lands of Pandya at the tip of India. Duke Maximillian of the Carnatic happened to be garrisoning those lands – and trying to deal with the sudden, fervent conversion of the most of the local populace to Orange Catholic – when Singhor and his army fell upon him like a thunderbolt… thoroughly outnumbered, Maximillian fell back into the weak defenses of Mozul and dispatched messengers to Joseph of Satava (then in Nasik) pleading for help.

Singhor wasted no time, his guns immediately hammering the walls of the city. At the same time, the general was besieged in his camp by a whole clutch of Shi’a clerics who were boggled with fear at the prevalence of this strange new faith. Singhor, however, had no time for their wild warnings of disaster and had them dragged from his sight.

Inside Mozul, Maxmillian counted heads, observed the accuracy of the Chandellan shot battering down the walls, commandeered every ship in the harbor and decamped with his troops for Fornost in Malabar. Singhor entered Mozul a month later, and was greeted warmly by the Orangist city council, who were quick to pledge their fealty to Chandella.

1765 – 1766 T218
Chandellas: Having soundly thrashed the southern Hussites, Kuhman Singh returned to Bundelkhand to take the reins of state in hand – which let the harried and overworked scribes in Chandella relax a fraction. Singh, however, was outraged at the poor job they’d done in his absence – more than a few fat wallahs lost their heads and were replaced by young, more astute men. His son Kumar was also sent home and ordered to “begat some heirs”, a task which he also failed at – greatly displeasing his father.

Attempt to drive the Orangists out of Pandya were a miserable failure.

Southern League: King Joseph was sniffling a bit into his beer, too. Being thumped by the Chandellans had ruined his whole decade. Still, he recovered his humor a bit – enough to order up two regiments of fresh cannoneers – and to shuffle his armies about a bit.

1767 – 1768 T219
Chandellas: With peace still lingering in India, the cities of Bundelkhand and Aliyesha expanded. War reparations continued to be sent to the League, though even such a small token began to grate on the sensibilities of the Chandellan lords. The massing of Thai armies in Palas was keenly noted by the border guards – the steady trickle of Moslem refugees from that land were eager to fill Kuhman’s ears with news of dire portent.

Diplomatic efforts by Singh’s emissaries in Avanti failed to gain the release of the Hussite leaders held captive there – while also gaining no advantage for their own diplomatic cause. Further south, the garrison of Pandya was reinforced, which proved an excellent idea as some Shi’a malcontents in the area attempted to blow up several Orangist churches on a given Sunday – but only managed to detonate their cart-bomb in a residential neighborhood, killing several dozen on-lookers, the cadre and two goats.

Governor Ramanothar was forced to impose a curfew and street patrols to prevent sectarian conflict between the two religious groups. Further religious trouble raised its head in Vengi, as well, where Orangist missionaries (from the Carthaginian outpost at Calicut) were active, finding a receptive host in the regional governor, general Ghotangar Sayman Singh.

Shi’a Imamat: Many scribes and clerks were lent to the Chandellans to help them complete a census and tax roll.

Southern League: Though morale remained low throughout the League, the tribute received from Chandella did allow King Joseph to see some war-damage repaired in Malabar. Even better, the Carthaginian Emir Hamilcar remained at Calicut with a powerful army, playing polo, chatting with the local nabobs and generally keeping a weather eye on the Chandellans.

Danrajastahn: Coupled with the failure of the Chandellan embassy to win the release of the diplomats, the rajah blew a loud raspberry at both kingdoms.

1769-1770 T220
Chandellas: Diplomacy Avanti (hostile!), Chela(^ea)
Ah, peaceful India - the cradle of civilization and light of the world in these dark times… The Chandellas, having squeezed an uneasy peace out of the Danaroohoos by raw force, set about repairing the ancient Indian highway network - starting from Bundelkhand (which was expanding nicely itself) towards Aliyesha in Nadavaria and then in the south between Amon Sûl and Mozul. The wily Moslems also had some good fun bilking the naïve Albanians out of a huge quantity of gold and two fine new airships for not-quite-as-much grain as was promised to the Europeans…

The raj of Avanti, however, would have none of the smoothtalking easterner prince who came to dicker for the release of the Arnori captives languishing in his cellar. Instead of a fine banquet, prince Kumar was run out of the province amid much whooping and hollering. The prince survived - minus his best pants - but poor Ahnam, his companion, tripped and was soon food for the hunting tigers favored by the raj. A gruesome, lengthy end to be sure…

The prince of Dahala avoided just such unpleasantness himself by spending a good two years preaching the word of Allah in the bordellos and fleshpots of Mozul, where he 'converted' an inordinate number of dancing girls and prostitutes to the faith.

The Emirs

  • Kuhman Singh 1749-date

The Players

  • Stephan Faris T217-date
  • open T216
  • Gus Klimt T210-T215

Last updated 30 March 2005

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