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The Chalukyan legacy - (A solanki AAR)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Stories & Tales' started by adhiraj.bose, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    Long time ago, in the age of Gods and demons, the creator Brahma forged a young warrior from fire. In one hand he held the vedas and on the other he held a sword, this young man was named Chilonki, for brahma forged him from the clay which burned in the fires to take the image the creator envisioned. This young man was the first Solanki.

    Thus began the story of the agnivansh rajputs, and so began the story of the Solanki clan. Two centuries ago, a scion of the last Chalukyan king, who were the forebears of the Solanki in the south, restored the glory of that ancient line who lorded over the Deccan. Whilst the Chalukya rebuilt their empire in the South, the Solanki would build their legacy in the prosperous land of Gujarat.

    To the west, lay the invading mlecchas who come to plunder the riches of Bharatvarsh, the Chalukya and Pratihar fought against them and defeated the invaders on the deserts of Thar, such that their descendants feared to tread beyond the Sindhu river. Over two centuries have passed and now new invaders have emerged from their forsaken lands and they will not be satisfied till the whole of Bharatvarsh submits to their will.

    I, Acharya Mrityunjay have lived on this earth for a millennium and half. During that time, I saw the world change in ways I could never imagine, now I find myself in this reality, so different than the one I had come to. Yet, my immortality remains unperturbed. Here, I stand witness to the story of the Solanki, the defenders of Bharatvarsh.


    Mod : Sword of Islam
    Civ : Solanki/Gujarat
    difficulty : emir
     
  2. Manuss

    Manuss Sleeping man

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    A SoI game. Interesting.
    Subbed.
     
  3. mrrandomplayer

    mrrandomplayer Potentially back

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    There hasn't been an SoI game in ages. Neat.
     
  4. TheNoob

    TheNoob Dank Memes

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  5. Spirictum

    Spirictum Immortal

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    Good luck adhiraj! This will be great!
     
  6. trexeric

    trexeric (or backwards 'cirexert')

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  7. CaterpillarKing

    CaterpillarKing Conqueror of Cacoons

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    I thought you were vehemently against starting a second story :p
     
  8. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    I was never "vehemently" against it :p . I was holding it off because I wasn't confident I could handle two stories together, but given the slow pace of the work in Tryst I'm thinking of using the time gap to write this little story by the wayside.
     
  9. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    In the chronicles of Acharya Mrityunjay : 942 CE

    It was year 941 of the Vikram samvat calendar that I came to this universe. The night before when I had gone to sleep, lost somewhere in the jungles of Dandakaranya, the year was still 240 of the Vikram samvat, yet when I awoke I was suddenly informed that I had passed seven centuries ! As I fell asleep, the crescent moon shone over the lush jungles of Dandakaranya, yet when I awoke there was desert and salt flats all around. For many months thereafter, I had to endure the torments of heat and thirst. If ever immortality felt like a curse, it was now.

    As I roamed the salt flats of Saurashtra, I found myself face to face with my rescuer. Clad in iron and riding atop a strong steed, this man was none other than Mulraj Solanki, the future king of Gujarat. He was passing by the salt flats on his way to the holy city of Dwarka with a vast army. "Who are you?" he asked and I answered, "I am Acharya Mrityunjay, the immortal scribe of Pataliputra.." the reply confounded him, he saw me as if I were from another universe. That was it began to dawn on me, that this was indeed another universe. Pataliputra, that grand old capital of an ancient united Bharatvarsh, had been washed under the waters of the Ganga. The far flung provinces had become kingdoms in their own right. This land which in my time I knew as part of the province of Avanti, had become the kingdom of Gujarat under the rule of the Chavda dynasty, but not for much longer.

    "Come with me my friend, and join us in our march to Dwarka. Soon, the weak Chavdas shall be cast out and Gujarat will be united under the banner of the Solankis" declared Mulraj Solanki. This land was raided frequently by muslim raiders from the North, but for the people of this land, these were the most contemptible 'mleccha' enemy. The present ruler of the chavda ruler has angered the subjects of this land through his high taxes and inability to defend the borders against these raids, hence the the lords and peasants alike have now rallied behind the banner of the Solanki. In the camp, I found nourishment and shelter, I found my strength returning to me. From the men that marched with us, I learned of this brave new world and of the man that leads us.

    It took the army of four thousand three days marching across the harshest terrain I had ever seen, to reach Dwarka on the coast of the Western sea. The Chavda king had taken shelter in that city having fled the capital at Anhilwara. Here he has secured himself with a force of a thousand mercenaries, whose loyalty was won with gold. I recall the siege, if you can call it one, no sooner had the garrison of Dwarka seen the approaching army of Mulraj Solanki, did they drop their banner and opened the gates of the city. The mercenaries whose loyalty could be bought by 20 maunds of gold, was bought for 40 more by Mulraj Solanki himself.

    This victory had sealed the fate of the last Chavda king, and put Mulraj Solanki on the throne of Gujarat. It seemed not to matter to Mulraj that the Chavda king Samantsinh was his father, so when the call went out for his execution, he ensured that justice prevail over kinship. I was chosen as a scribe to chronicle the reign of the Solanki king.


    Spoiler :
     
  10. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    The Chronicles of Acharya Mrityunjay : 942 CE - 970 CE

    King Mulraj Solanki would go on to rule Gujarat for 28 years. During this time, he established the hold of his dynasty over all the provinces of the land. For around 4 years after the fall of Dwarka and the execution of Samantsinh Chavda, loyalists and bandits alike raided the countryside, the former seeking retribution for the death of their king, and the latter seeking to take advantage of the fledgling rule of the Solanki dynasty and enrich themselves with loot. Mulraj Solanki brought both these forces to heel at the point of his sword.

    Soon, his reign came to be recognized by the neighboring state of Malwa. From there, the ruling Paramara kings had sent an emissary to treat with the king of Gujarat.

    Spoiler :


    The emissary read out the Paramara king's message, "King Siyaka Paramara, the second of that name and sovereign king of the nation of Malwa send you his greetings. It is hereby decided by the King Siyaka, as between the nations of Gujarat and Malwa that we shall be bound in friendship and deal fairly with each other, respecting one another's boundaries and furthering trade and interaction between our people's. The King therefore wishes, that trade be established between our two nations".

    It was an offer that King Mulraj Solanki would not be wise to refuse. The land of Gujarat had since ancient times been a center of great wealth and world trade, the western coastline brought it access to the wider western world. Whilst in the East lay the prosperous kingdoms of Bharata. However, since the establishment of the Arab caliphates in the West, trade has declined in the face of fierce competition from the western merchants. It was not without reason then, that King Mulraj Solanki agreed to the offer of the king of Malwa. Not only would this bring the two kingdoms closer diplomatically, but bring valuable trade to the merchants of Gujarat.

    In the years that followed, the king focussed on work of rebuilding the wealth and productive prowess of the cities of Gujarat. The king had planned a series of ambitious projects to strengthen his kingdom, chief among them was the establishment of a second coastal town near the fertile waters of the Narmada river.

    Spoiler :


    For many years, the merchants of Dwarka had a monopoly over the trade flowing from Gujarat, this King Mulraj thought, endangered the strength of the king and made the economy of Gujarat vulnerable from foreign attacks, as Dwarka was not easy to defend from a distant capital at Anhilwara. The city suffered from two great perils, raiders, and earthquakes. Indeed, this was the same city that had sunk to the sea over three millennia ago, now rebuilt. The new city that would be built on the Narmada would be safe from both these perils.

    As Surat prospered, the kingdom advanced ahead. Her merchants mastered the techniques of long distance trading to perfect their trades with the friendly but distant nations. His next project focussed on improving the lands near Anhilwara, soon after farmlands were irrigated, he turned to expanding mining in the Northern hills bordering Rajasthan.

    Spoiler :


    By now, 20 years had passed under the reign of Mulraj Solanki, and it was now time to bury old enmities. For several years, the rajput clans of the North had boycotted the Solanki clan for the crime of kinslaying. For this crime, they had forsaken Mulraj Solanki and his clan, refusing to recognize the legitimacy of his claim over Gujarat, but time heals all wounds. It was the rajputs of Ajmer who first broke with the old ways, and greeted Mulraj Solanki. An emissary from the kingdom of Ajmer greeted with Mulraj Solanki at the court of Anhilwara.

    Spoiler :


    Much as the Malwa king before him, the king of Ajmer sought trade and goodwill, King Mulraj was only too happy to accept this offer from his own kin in the North. However, this did not go down well with every Rajput clan and some like those of the Thar saw in the friendship between Ajmer and Gujarat an ominous design. Those conspirators enticed the rogue bandits of the Western desert to pillage the villages of Gujarat.

    Spoiler :


    In the North West of Anhilwara, the lands were ripe for cattle grazing, however there were no pastures. The soil in that region was not as rich for farming, thus the farmers of the region had been poor. The years of hard taxation from Samantsinh and repeated raids from Rajputana had impoverished that region. However, Samantsinh had gone, and the raiders had not been seen for 20 years, so the king decreed "We must rebuild the pasturelands" . Worker guilds were sent to work on improving this land, that is when disaster struck. A band of raiders seeking to pillage the countryside had struck the pasturelands of the North West. Three worker guilds along with their stores were destroyed.

    Over 20 years of my stay in Gujarat I had seldom seen the king becoming angry, but that day on the 28th year of his reign, I had seen fire in his eyes. "Ready the infantry! I will personally see an end to these bandits!" age was catching up with him, he had refused to see it, but for all those who could see him would know, he was not the man he was 28 years ago.

    Spoiler :


    The battle was fierce! The raiders came in the hundreds, riding their fast Rajasthani steeds, they fought with bolts and lances. Facing them was the elite infantry division of the Solanki's army. A thousand Kshatriya warrior clad in iron armor, holding sword and shield, skilled in martial arts.

    Before the battle, Mulraj Solanki laid for the bandits a trap, spies were sent into the enemy's camp to whisper news of rich traders making their way North into Gandhara, these traders would stop by the pasturelands, where the bandits could seize them and their loot worth 100 maund in gold. Unsurprisingly, the bandits fell for the lie. No less than 500 bandits rode off into an uninhabited valley surrounded by hills only to find that not a soul was in sight. As the bandits looked around bewildered and confused, the Kshatriya warriors pounced upon them from the surrounding hills.

    King Mulraj Solanki himself faced against the leader of the bandits. The raider charged half a dozen times with his lance, but every time the king would deflect his blows with his shield. The seventh time he charged, the king skillfully deflected his lance and struck at it with his sword, breaking it in half and causing the rider to fall. He looked into the eyes of the fallen rider, wanting to kill him, but reasoned that he must take him to Anhilwara and let him face justice. As he was about to sheath his sword, the king felt a hard blow from behind his head. He fell to the ground and blood was gushing from his head, a raider who had been unhorsed had snuck behind him and struck at him with a rock. He in turn was beheaded by a swordsman. The king lay fatally wounded, and the bandit lord found an opportunity to escape. All but twenty of the bandits were left alive at the end, and only two dozen solanki soldiers were martyred. Among those martyred on the field, was King Mulraj Solanki.
     
  11. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    In the chronicles of Acharya Mrityunjay - 970 CE - 1012 CE

    Two days before his untimely death, I spoike to the aging King Mulraj Solanki one last time. He looked incredulously at me and asked, "How is it Acharya Mrityunjay, that you stay young while I, and all those around me age and whither?" Though I spoke the truth, the king would not believe. King Mulraj Solanki died a warrior's death, defending his realm. Gujarat was emerging strong and prosperous, and now the crown prince Bhimdev was seated on the throne at Anhilwara.

    The day following his coronation shall not be soon forgotten. In the halls of the palace of Anhilwara, a congregation of jyotishis assembled. There was tense chatter among them, each held and read from ancient astrological scrolls. It was foretold that with the reign of Bhimdev a great evil shall arise from the West, and his coming will be foreshadowed by calamities that will overturn the earth. King Bhimdev had only just returned from the holy city of Dwarka.

    The jyotishies all agreed, that the reign of king Bhimdev Solanki, the first of that name, would usher in a time of crises and dangers. The king sat worried and anxious, he spoke with the jyotishies and sent messages to the finest astrologers in Bharata, to search for a solution that would save Gujarat from such a calamity, but no solution seemed in sight. "We must prepare for the worst" he spoke before the hall, "Gujarat has faced calamity before and we have survived, and we shall keep surviving."

    His first act as king included the initiation of new worker guilds, however, it would be a long time before new guilds will be ready to work upon the lands of the North West. After the disastrous raids by the Thar raiders, Bhimdev's greatest concern was in defending the nations's strategic resources, especially the copper mines North East of Anhilwara.

    Spoiler :


    For some years now, the nation of Ghazni had been known of. It lay Far west beyond the Indus, in the land of Gandhar that was once prosperous and plentiful. Today that nation of wise and beautiful people has fallen to the hands of the Mleccha who have laid waste to all that was good and erected monuments to their vice. Among them an ambitious warrior has arose to establish an empire over Bharata. The King was informed by the royal astrologer in private one day, that this kingdom and its successor shall be responsible for the destruction of the holy city of Dwarka. "All the land shall be laid bare, and everywhere there will be the stench of death and the scorching heat of fire over the ruins of Dharma. Standing atop the carnage, a mleccha warrior laughs" thus read the prophecy.

    Spoiler :


    But there was more in the words of the prophecy, words that had not then been seen. "In the fires of that carnage, a messiah would come, to that messiah Krishna would appear in his varaha avatar. He shall raise the forgotten banner of the Chalukyas and usher in a golden age in Bharata." King Bhimdev's astrologers could not yet decipher these scripts, but the truth of these words would be known a generation later.

    Spoiler :


    Twelve years had passed under the reign of King Bhimdev Solanki, the first of his name, and the conditions of the realm had not changed, either for better or for worse. For the most part, Gujarat was as his predecessor had left it. The merchants and fishermen of Dwarka were investing their money and food to sustain new worker guilds that would be needed for improving the land, a project that had been initiated by the new king but yet unfinished. "How much longer would it take!?" the king fumed, "Oh noble Raja," the mahamatya would reply, "Dwarka can work only so fast, it would be many years till we have the resources to establish the new guilds, perhaps even longer than your reign." The king felt frustrated at this, the ominous threat of calamity still loomed large on his mind, but without worker guilds, he could not imagine how the kingdom would cope.

    The next ten years passed much like the decade before it, the cities of Gujarat grew from strength to strength, in particular the port city of Surat. Then, the first signs of calamity came, not from Gujarat but from the neighbouring kingdom of Malwa. In the 24th year of Bhimdev Solanki's name, came the great flood of the Narmada. Villages were washed away, lives were destroyed and hundreds died in that flood. It was in the season of the rains, when farmers look to the sky in hope that a good harvest would come, the gods sent a rain of death. The rains went on unceasing, bloating the rivers of Malwa such that the banks could no longer tolerate. The floods came with a vengeance washing away precious harvest and ruining farmlands. It would be many years before the people of this region would recover from this deluge.

    Spoiler :


    The news of this deluge did not take long to reach the people of Gujarat. By now, knowledge of the ominous prophecies were common knowledge among the people of Gujarat, yet for 20 years nothing had happened. Many had come to disbelieve in the prediction of the royal astrologers. Then the floods came, and suddenly fear gripped the minds of the peasants of Gujarat. "It is Malwa today ! It will be Gujarat tomorrow!" screamed the wandering rishis, "Bhimdev has brought the curse of the gods with him ! We will all suffer from the Kal Sarp Yog !"

    The king ordered these wandering ascetics to be arrested and anyone found propagating against the king would be decreed as treasonous. It was a law that did not bring Bhimdev much love. One day the king summoned me for advice, there in his chamber he asked, "Acharya Mrityunjay.. you have lived in my father's time and you are here in my time. A man such as yourself must have knowledge of the ecclesiastic , you must have seen disasters in your time. Tell me, what must I do to please the Gods ? Malwa has witnessed their wrath, how do I save my Gujarat?"

    What could I do then but express my helplessness ? That which was fated to happen would happen regardless of the work of man. Each nation just as each person must come face to face with destiny. The king was disappointed at that answer. He expected more than I could ever hope to give him. Several years had passed, since the flooding of the Narmada upon Malwa. The thought of calamity seemed to have gone out of people's memory, it was in this time of comfort that the Gods chose to bring their punishment.

    Spoiler :


    The fisherfolk of Dwarka saw the worst of the earthquake. In the words of a wounded fisherman, "the water beneath us trembled, then waves rose up and down as high as hills.The ground rose up no less than twenty feet in one day. The tremors hit us in the early hours of dawn when we head out to sea for fishing. Hundreds of our brothers died."

    The epicenter of the earthquake was far North of Dwarka, along the diamond hills North of Kutchh. The region was laid waste by the tremors which tore the earth from under. When Raja Bhimdev knew of this he fell on his throne, "the prophecy.." he said to himself.

    In these troubled times, the kingdom felt helpless to aid the fishing villages of Dwarka. Food shortages resulted in hunger and poverty in the city. Yet, the people fought on, resilient in the face of overwhelming odds. Three years had moved on but the Kutch region remained half a ruin. A brooding king spent sleepless nights pondering over the future, the future of Gujarat seemed bleak. One night, he saw a dream, a bring light shone on the Southern walls of Anhilwara, a boy dressed in regal clothes stood before it. From the light a vision emerged, a vast Mleccha army chanting the name of the false God, rode on swift steeds across the desert ready to invade Anhilwara, but before him stood the Varaha avatar, the protector of the earth realm. With one swipe of his arm all of the mlecchas were swept away into the seas.



    Then, just as suddenly as the vision had appeared, it vanished. In the next day, the king visited the spot on the Southern wall where he saw this vision in his dream. There he found a bloody sword stuck into the wall. On its hilt an odd shape of the boar was made out, the king saw this as a divine sign. Word of this miracle spread throughout Anhilwara and soon all of Gujarat, the king built a temple at the side of the wall where the Varaha avtar had appeared. This temple became a site of pilgrimage.

    Spoiler :


    After the miracle on the walls of Anhilwara, the king seemed more at peace with himself. The capital city's barracks and workshops were hard at work forging new weapons and training new recruits. Meanwhile, the shipwrights at Surat were preparing a fleet of trade vessels. It was the king's desire to explore the shores of the far off western lands, there many prosperous opportunities exist for conducting trade. Among the nations of the West, there was the kingdom of Jerusalem, visitors came to treat with the king. They brought with them an ominous message,

    "Our lands are burned, our temples destroyed, our people massacred. We are killed and looted for our wealth and our faith. The heathens have taken Jerusalem O King, we are refugees seeking shelter, would the nation of the Indics be generous enough to accept us ?"

    Once more, the king was reminded of the prophecy. It would seem the Mleccha had taken the kingdom of Jerusalem, would the kingdom of Gujarat suffer the same fate ? Though reluctant at first, the king took pity on the condition of the refugees and allowed them shelter in the port city of Surat. They brought with them much wealth and knowledge of the sciences.

    Spoiler :


    As age caught up with Raja Bhimdev, he felt more and more paranoid. The thoughts of the prophecies coming true had haunted him during most of his reign, and much of it had come true. Yet, one remained unfulfilled, Gujarat was never attacked, not once, during his time, then would his sons live to see his curse ? Bhimdev Solanki had married Udayamati when he was twenty years old, in a marriage arranged by his father, king Mulraj Solanki. The queen was beloved throughout the realm for her relief work after the earthquake of Kutch but also for her love of art and architecture, the latter showed itself in the beautification of the palace of Anhilwara. From her, the king had a prince, Karandev, who had now grown to an able boy of 16 years. His skill and martial prowess would make him a worthy successor.

    The day that King Bhimdev announced his succession, news came from the west that a new kingdom had emerged in the west under the leadership of the Soomro clan. A clan that had been ostracized by all the rajputs for aligning with the mlechha invader and adopting their foreign ways. Upon recieving this news, Bhimdev held Karandev's hand and looked into his eyes and said, "Swipe them away."

    Spoiler :
     
  12. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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  13. Noyyau

    Noyyau Privateer Captain

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    It's good! And it's nice to know that Acharya Mrityunjay is still around :)
     
  14. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    In the chronicles of Acharya Mrityunjay : 1012 - 1022

    Bhimdev Solanki was a better ruler than most would care to credit. Despite calamities plaguing the kingdom, he held strong and ensured that Gujarat would continue to prosper. New workers guilds were made to work on improving the land around Surat, Anhilwara and Dwarka. Among his last projects was a road between Anhilwara and Surat.

    Spoiler :


    Raja Bhimdev stepped down from the throne after 42 years of rule, leaving the crown to the young prince Karandev. However, the prince was not yet well versed in the art of statecraft. Most of his skills were found at the blade of a sword, and he cared little for the moorings of politics. His mother Udayamati however, was made of different stock. Having ruled beside the king for most of 42 years of his reign, the queen knew her way around the court and how to deal with the nobility and Gujarat's neighbors. Thus, where the prince brought in the best of martial prowess to the kingdom, the queen brought in the tempered wisdom of statecraft. For a time, King Karandev's rule was synonymous with the reign of Queen Udayamati.

    During the final years of Bhimdev's rule, the prince Karandev had convinced his father to let him lead an exploratory raid across the far North, deep into the Rajput lands along the Yamnuna. The raid was meant to acquire slaves to work upon the lands of Gujarat and wealth out of plunder, however the raid was soon proven impractical and at the end yielded nothing. However, we learnt much of the nations of the North.

    Spoiler :


    Despite this failure, the young prince was resilient in his ways. He saw to the recruitment of a new division of axemen in Anhilwara. Though Karandev wished to attack the neighboring kingdom of Chittor to the North, the queen restricted him from doing so. The axemen were put to the defense of the capital city.

    Whilst Karandev readied his new division of axemen warriors, Queen Udayamati set off building a grand project in Anhilwara. "One that would make our city the wonder of the world" she would say. Gujarat was not known for its fertility, for most of a year it would remain parched for rain. Though the Narmada and its tributaries would provide some amount of sustenance, water remained a scarce resource. King Bhimdev would often contemplate a solution to this problem, but he did not live to see it come to fruition. His vision was to build a great stepwell that would reserve the waters of the monsoon rains for use throughout the year. His queen thus began the construction of the great stepwell in his memory.

    Spoiler :


    While Gujarat developed, the Soomro dynasty of Sindh did not sit idle. A new city on the coast of the Western sea was established at Thatta. Soon fishermen from this coastal city made contact with fishermen at Dwarka, the self-styled sultan of Sindh saw herein an opportunity for trade. The sultan sent an emissary to treat with the king, he saw before him, the King of Gujarat, Raja Karandev, the first of his name, and standing beside him was his mother, the Queen Udayamati.


    Spoiler :


    "Sindh wishes to forge peaceful relations with the nation of Gujarat, so our people may prosper through trade and exchange." the emissary said. The sight of the muslim emissary sent the young king's blood boiling, he was reminded of the prophecies his father told him of and his last words before descending from the throne, "Swipe them away". The king was ready to admonish the hapless emissary, "They defiled our temples, massacred our people and ye of the Soomro clan adopted the way of the invader! You have no honor and you come here to talk of peace !?" he shouted.

    The emissary and his entourage of 3 spearmen readied their weapons and assumed fighting stance. Karandev's guards reciprocated reaching for the swords in their scabbards, it seemed that a conflict was imminent. It took Queen Udayamati some effort to pacify both sides. "Enough blood has been spilled on either side over centuries. Let us not bloody this hall today. We accept peace between our nations, however, we would desire of the sultan of Sindh that he allow hindus to freely settle and preach their faith in his cities. So an agreement was reached and Thatta would have a community of hindus.

    Spoiler :


    For the next 6 years peace was sustained between the two neighboring kingdoms, and Karandev matured. Queen Udayamati had caught an illness which plagued her for the last 2 years. The best of the vaids from across Bharata could not find a cure for it, though herbalists succeeded in taming the effects of this disease. She would live for a few years longer, long enough to see her son mature, but not long enough to see her grand project in Anhilwara complete. It would take many more years before the stepwell could be dug to its desired depths, however, even in this unfinished state the well gave the parched land of Gujarat much needed respite.

    The wise men at the royal academy of Anhilwara were perfecting their knowledge of agriculture and exploring new methods of cultivation. These new techniques would allow farmers in the South and along the Kutch to grow surplus crops for trade, bringing more revenue for the kingdom. Under the reign of Queen Udayamati and Karandev, the agrarian scientists perfected these techniques.

    Spoiler :


    Knowledge of cash cropping paved the way to exploring crop rotation techniques. For long it was theorized that the forests around Anhilwara could be cut down to make way for farmland, but no techniques existed to allow the farming in these lands. With the knowledge of crop rotation this will no longer be a hurdle.

    After fighting for 2 years against a crippling illness, Queen Udayamati finally succumbed. In her deathbed she held her son's hand and smiled with pride "you will make a good king.. my son." she said before drawing her last breath. Anhilwara was gripped in mourning at the death of their beloved king, a new era had now begun as King Karandev sat the throne of Anhilwara, now alone.

    The sun dawned on the year 1022 of the Vikram samvat, Raja Karandev Solanki walked to the Northern balcony of the palace of Anhilwara and saw the vast Aravalli before him. In his mind, he envisioned conquest and had but one target, Chittor.

    Spoiler :
     
  15. CaterpillarKing

    CaterpillarKing Conqueror of Cacoons

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    Just realized your country's flag looks like the LGBT pride flag :p, not all the colors are the same but it's similar.
     
  16. Spirictum

    Spirictum Immortal

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    Sindhi must fall! :devil:
     
  17. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    Medieval hindu flags were very colorful and somewhat tacky :p . The Cholas had the coolest flag IMO.
     
  18. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    In the Chronicles of Acharya Mrityunjay : 1022 - 1074

    Queen Udayamati was much loved by her people. She continued her predecessor's legacy and left large shoes to fill. Karandev and his predilection for war would find it hard to fulfill them. But soon, the his warrior blood would find an opportunity to prove itself. Near Anhilwara, the clouds of war was gathering.

    Spoiler :


    Around the fort city of Chittor, the armies of Malwa and Ajmer combined their strength to besiege the great fortress. It was a scene that could be likened to a snake trying to swallow an elephant. The garrison of Chittor was numbered in the tens of thousands, while the besieging army numbered no more than 5000 Rajput braves. They took with them no siege equipment save towers.

    The report of this farcical 'siege' was brought incidentally by a warrior raider on his return from Dhillika.

    The reports from this raider made the situation clear. Karandev was anxious for expansion but now he realized that the strength of Gujarat was not enough to subdue its nearest adversary. The kingdom of Chittor, proud of its strength and the supposed invincibility of its citadels, had declared war against all its neighbors for no other reason than to test their strength and patience. In an earlier time, Raja Karandev Solanki may have just as well taken their dare, but not today. The Karandev Solanki that sat on the throne of Anhilwara was a more matured and tempered soul.

    Before a gathering of ministers and nobles in the hall of the palace, he declared, 'We will not join the Rajputs in battle. Our forces are not yet strong enough, we will however, build our strength." he looked towards the Senapati and ordered, "Recruit infantry and task workshops to building siege equipments. I give this task to you, to build a large army speedily. Karandev would have his desired army many years later, and it would be many years before the army of Gujarat could bring down the pride and hubris of Chittor.

    Spoiler :


    The decision was not founded in the present but with a view to the future. There was no other way it could be feasible, Anhilwara was already being tasked to complete the expansion grand stepwell that Queen Udayamati had built. Surat was not strong enough to sustain the demands of building an army, and Dwarka had yet to recover completely from the effects of the calamity that had struck its shores.

    Raja Karandev realized the importance of prioritizing such peaceful endeavors, and the importance of rebuilding Dwarka for which he commissioned the worker guilds at Dwarka to build a road network directly linking it with the capital. Alongside this project, he oversaw the reconstruction of the fisheries and resettling of fishing villages laid waste by the earthquake at the Rann of Kutch.

    Seven years had passed since Raja Karandev had initiated building his army to take Chittor. When combined with existing troops, the Senapati counted the forces of Gujarat thus,

    Spoiler :


    Two hundred Catapults and twenty thousand axe wielding infantrymen. Raja Karandev felt satisfied by these numbers, yet he still excersized caution, "we are strong, but now is not yet the right time." Instead he focussed his attention quite unexpectedly towards trade and exploration.

    Eight years since the creation of the grand Solanki army, a traveller arrived to the court of speaking of a great merchant from Shekhawati. This emissary greatly intrigued Raja Karandev, especially his tales of the fabulous wealth of the Mleccha kingdoms beyond the Western Sea. "My merchant master has toured the world" the emissary said, "From the farthest in the western lands to the farthest eastern shore, no corner of the known world has been untouched by my master's feet. It is Gujarat's honor as much as my master's that he comes here for trade." the king listened in wonder of his stories. Two years later, he would come to Gujarat and open his shop at Anhilwara selling the exotic wares and carpets he had traded throughout the world.

    Spoiler :


    Raja Karandev himself granted an audience to this visitor. I was there, present beside the king that day, when the great merchant of Shekhawati came. Though possessing more wealth in the world than most men, this merchant was not lacking in humility and wisdom. He bowed before the king and stated his objective, "I wish to engage in trade with the merchants of Dwarka and Anhilwara, whose fame has now reached to distant shores." the mere mention of distant shores seemed to excite Karandev. In his curiosity he asked the merchant even before he could complete his offer, "Tell me of these distant shores."

    The merchant looked up to the king and smiled, "Before you set your sights on distant shores, would it not be proper for you to know of affairs closer to home ? I have travelled the Punjab and I believe it has not been more than a decade since you had set your kshatriya warriors to plunder Dhillika ?"

    Raja Karandev did not expect that question, yet he could not help but be intrigued by the manner in which he was asked. It was as if the trader had subtly and secretly whispered an offer and a bargain. "What do you know ?" the King asked in his authoritative tone and the Merchant spoke.

    Spoiler :


    The Punjab had since the fall of the Pratihara empire, been broken into many smaller kingdoms each ruled by a warlike Rajput king. This was the state of affair two years earlier at year 1038 of the Vikram Samvat. Each king sought battle with the other keeping the region in a near permanent state of turmoil. It was a state of affairs that attracted adventurers and raiders from the Mleccha lands, none more fiercer than those which inhabit Gandhar.

    The merchant then told of other more curious affairs, the knowledge of which Raja Karandev was anxious to gain. He knew of a sea route that would take him across the western sea to the most prosperous Mleccha kingdoms, but it was not knowledge that he would grant for free. In exchange for a grant of trading monopoly over salts, cotton and wares, the merchant would 'gift' his knowledge to the shipwrights of Surat so they may build a fleet worthy of the long journey West. The King already enthralled with tales of the riches of the West, could not help but grant the merchant his demands. In retrospect, it might as well have been for the best.

    The shipwrights of Surat were already tasked with building a fleet of trading vessels and exploration vessels. The merchant taught the shipwrights techniques he had learnt from the nation of Chin, and taught the sailors how to navigate to the distant shores the king would send them to.

    Spoiler :


    Once the fleet was ready to set sail, Raja Karandev appointed a Navadhyaksh to oversee the affairs of the navy. His first task however, was to oversee a massive exploratory mission and establish trading contacts with every Mleccha nation on the Western sea. The sailors set sail for the long journey from Surat on their ships called 'dhows', it would take several years before mapping out the route to the homeland of the Mlecchas but the benefits would be worth the effort. Raja Karandev himself stood by to see off the sailors.

    While the sailors went their way to the West, Raja Karandev focussed on affairs at home. Even before the arrival of the great merchant, the fishermen of Dwarka had rebuilt their villages and readied a fishing fleet to establish new fisheries.

    Spoiler :


    In the meantime, Anhilwara's resources were focussed on completing the grand stepwell initiated by Queen Udayamati. The original smaller 'Rani ki Vav' had brought much relief for the people of Anhilwara, but as Anhilwara grew its needs grew as well and an expansion of the stepwell was necessitated. Raja Karandev had temporarily halted its construction favoring a forge instead. In his reasoning, Anhilwara's craftsmen lacked access to metal tools and a forging industry which slowed construction of the stepwell. His reasoning was not unfounded, after building the forges, the construction of the stepwell could be proceeded much faster.

    Spoiler :


     
  19. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    A question before I move with the updates. In SOI I can't seem to use the forced production button. It always shows as blank even when I'm running slavery. Is this how it is or is something broken ?
     
  20. Spirictum

    Spirictum Immortal

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    Yes this is so, I believe. In RFCE they have removed the hurry with forced labor. In RAND too if I remember correctly.

    SoI has probably gone the same way.

    So the button is just a reminder of old gamerules :p

    It would be too much effort to remove it graphically, so all of them just let it rot there, unused :lol:
     

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