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The Licchaviology - A Nepali Megacampaign Part 1

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Athara Magarat
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The Licchaviology - A Nepali Megacampaign Part 1

Postby Athara Magarat » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:38 am

Introduction


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In 867, just as the Viking Age was progressing in northern Europe with more and more powerful raids by the dreaded Norsemen, the South Asian subcontinent in the distant east lay divided between three great empires. The parties in this so-called 'Tripartite Struggle' were the Pratihara Empire (Hindu) in northern India, the Pala Empire (Buddhist) in the Bengal region and the Rashtrakuta Empire (Jain) in central India. This conflict is said to have started in the 820s (while some historians give much earlier time frame of 750s) and historically, the Hindu Pratihara dynasty won this three-way war and only time will tell us how it will unfold it in this alternate timeline.

Just a little west of these three rival empires of the Indian subcontinent is the Saffarid dynasty (Sunni). This Persian dynasty had been founded just six years ago by Ya'qub ibn al-Layth al-Saffar (translation: Ya'qub, son of Layth, the Coppersmith). Further west is the Abbassid Caliphate (the undisputed leader of the Muslim world at least for the time being) and I am pretty sure that this one needs no introduction.

North of the Indian subcontinent, beyond the great Himalayan mountains, lies the land of Tibet. With the fragmentation of the Tibetan Empire, no central authority was in control of the Tibetan region between 842 and 1247 until Mongol conquest and subsequent Yuan rule. Here as well, only time would tell whether someone would rise to reunite a fragmented Tibet before the historical time period but the powerful kingdoms of U-tsang and Guge have better chances than others.

However, our story does not start in these aforementioned locations. Nonetheless, our story will soon intertwine with theirs.

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This book Licchavi Vamsavali, or it is known better as the Licchaviology by foreigners, will tell readers the stories of Licchavi rulers throughout history after Raja Manadeva IV. However, the stories in this book are from a world similar to ours but one that had a different historical timeline.

In Real Life, the actual Kingdom of Nepal was way smaller than shown on this map. By this, I mean that the so-called Licchavi Kingdom of Nepal comprised only the Kathmandu Valley. Okay, you might not know this but Kathmandu was historically known as Nepal Valley until the Gorkhali conquests of mid 18th Century. So technically it is not the fault of the Licchavis or historians (or even the ancient Newa civilization) but of the Gorkhali conquerors who decided to name their rapidly expanding kingdom after this valley.

In this timeline, Manadeva IV, son of Baladeva, is the ruler of a significantly larger than historical Kingdom of Nepal in 867. This Raja Manadeva is a brave and honest man but somewhat of a hopeless romantic (which might explain why he is still unmarried at the age of 57). The Real Life Manadeva IV became the king of Nepal only in 877. Nepali historians still debate whether he was the last Licchavi king or not. You see, there are no records of the Licchavis after Manadeva IV until all of a sudden in 1201 when Ari Malla is mentioned. Some sources say that the Licchavi ruler Ari Dev just changed his last name from Licchavi to Malla (Sanskrit: "wrestler") since he was fond of wrestling. Other sources claim that the Malla dynasty is much older. It is said that Harisimhadeva, (or Hari Singh Deva) of the Karnat dynasty and ruler of Mithila (or Tirhut), had fled to Nepal Valley during the Turkic conqueror Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq's invasions of India and established the Malla dynasty by replacing the already extinct Licchavis.

Coincidentally, the historical Licchavis themselves had their origins in northern India; to be more specific Bihar. The Licchavis were a Buddhist clan who had historically been vassals of the Gupta Empire. While the clan itself was ancient, the earliest record of a Licchavi Kingdom in Nepal dates back to an inscription by Manadeva I in 464. The Licchavis had established their rule by defeating the last Kirati King Gasti. Despite the Licchavis being Buddhists, the population was a mix of Buddhists, Hindus as well as other lesser known religions like Bon, Kirat Mundhum and various tribal beliefs.

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Raja Manadeva IV had two powerful vassals working under him. The first of these two men was Raghadeva Thamsuhang who ruled the Thikana of Limbuwan. Most of the people in Limbuwan were remnants of the Tibeto-Burman Kirats (mentioned even in the Mahabharata) who ruled Nepal Valley before the Licchavis did. Raghadeva Thamsuhang also served as the Royal Steward of Nepal.

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The other Raghadeva under Raja Manadeva IV was Raghadeva Thakuri, the ruler of Thikana of Janakpur. It was quite heavily populated; mostly by the local Maithali people and newer groups such as the Indo-Iranian Khas (another tribe also mentioned in the Mahabharata). This Raghadeva was of Khas descent but also claimed to have Rajput lineage; hence the prestigious name Thakuri. Unlike the Thamsuhang who gave up his native Kirat Mundum religion for Buddhism, the Thakuri Ragahdeva remained true to his Hindu faith. Besides governing the Thikana of Janakpur, Ragahdeva Thakuri was also the chief of spies in the kingdom. His wife Sujanbai also played a key role for she was the Trade Master of Nepal.




Hi everyone! This is your friendly neighborhood Athara Magarat working on a Crusader Kings 2 After-Action Report (CK2 AAR). I have always been tempted to do a CK2 AAR. The game itself is epic and provides excellent story-telling format. Stories that I might use in The Western Isles member Athara Magarat's history if I run out of ideas. Well, what better to start with that something you know about? Thus, I choose the Licchavi dynasty to get this AAR started.

I actually do not have a specific goal in mind (maybe other than create an empire?) and I am certainly not after achievements. In fact, I am playing in non-Ironman to use previous save files when necessary so as to prevent stuff from getting out of hand. And I am by no means an expert in CK2. And as I said before, the AAR is just to create a (hopefully engaging) story :)
Last edited by Athara Magarat on Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:51 am, edited 16 times in total.
Proud Member of the The Western Isles.

Keomora - It's so goddamn diverse.

Tastreira - I get a Nepal/Tibet/Mongolian vibe from it.

Covonant - It's a different unique concept which is nice to have. I love that in TWI is not just Western modeled states but states of different cultures and ideologies which makes the RP more interesting.

Polar Svalbard - 8/10 would bang.




Before idiotically calling me out for having a so-called Nazi symbol in my flag, I recommend you ACTUALLY read my dispatches.

What the symbol really is...

What my flag stands for...

And my IC constitution

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Athara Magarat
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Postby Athara Magarat » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:10 am

Manadeva IV the Hun - Chapter 1

867 AD - 870 AD


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Raja Manadeva IV was a hopeless romantic. Despite being 57 years of age and full knowledge that the Licchavi dynasty would end if he produced no heir, the old king still believed in love at first sight. His vassals and courtiers would always bring in some girl of marriageable age but every time, Manadeva would reject them. He even refused to take concubines. All of this was to change when spymaster Raghadeva Thakuri and Manadeva went on guise of travelers to study better technology in the Uighur Kingdom of Qocho. There Manadeva met and fell in love with Uppal Apgyatkacer, a 16 years old Tocharian woman from the House of Urabo. Her father Marzoban Apgaya had once been the ruler of Urumqi but after his death, House Urabo had fallen to poverty. Despite Raghadeva's protests such as "Maharaja, think of what people will say if you marry the daughter of a deceased Marzoban"; Manadeva IV returned to Nepal only after Uppal became his queen.

Rani Uppal was also made the designated regent of Nepal while her husband started working on his book on stewardship as soon as he returned to Kathmandu Valley. He also changed the inheritance law to Agnatic-Cognatic so that his child would become the next ruler of the kingdom even if born a female.

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In order to raise money and train his soldiers, Raja Manadeva IV decided to launch raids into foreign lands. 23 March of the year 867 is the date of the first recorded Nepali warband. This raiding party of 900 men was led by Mayor Udgam of Bhaktapur and the Nepali raiders looted everything they could find of value in the Thikana of Sravasti. The cities and castles in Sravasti were at least only looted for their wealth. In neighboring Kusinagara's city of Padrauna, the Nepali raiders completely destroyed the walls and moved from one building to another; setting everything on their path ablaze. Any helpless Padrauna citizens that the warband under Mayor Udgam found were mercilessly slaughtered. The city of Padrauna turned into a smoking conflagration after the raid and there was not a single living soul to be found in the ruins. The city's Hindustani mayor Anuppal cursed the Nepali raiders as they took 59 gold ducats from his treasury to spare his life and left behind a city in ruins that would take years to be repopulated and returned to its former glory.

Unfortunately, this would not be the only case of such barbaric acts committed by Nepali soldiers in the name of raiding campaigns to raise funds. The Nepali warbands would, for generations to come, target any county or duchy-level political entity in South Asia and Tibet. Only relatively large and powerful states like the Pratiharas, the Palas or the Tibetan kingdoms of Guge and U-tsang were avoided by these dreaded raiders. The money collected from this first raid against Sravasti were used by Raja Manadeva IV to fund Raghadeva Thakuri's wife Sujanbai do her Trade Master duties and to hire a new Court Guru named Hem. The gold ducats were also used by Chancellor Manadeva Lamichhane to pay for authors who wrote chronicles of the Licchavi dynasty and to publicly expose a local monk from Pokhara who considered himself a reincarnation of Maitreya.

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On the afternoon of 3 February 870, Steward Raghadeva Thamsuhang came to Raja Mandeva IV with a plan to bring exotic goods by setting up a new trade route. Sizable amount of monetary investment would be necessary for such a task but the raids into Sravasti had brought home more than enough gold to do so. The Licchavi court decided that the Kingdom of Sumparu ruled by Nyima Dudlutsen (who had already had a non-aggression pact with Nepal signed two years ago) would be perfect trade partners.

Nyima Dudlutsen was a devout Bon ruler and Raja Manadeva knew this. Thus, he rejected the offer of a group of bhikkhus who said they would provide temple funds for the journey. Manadeva knew these bhikkus would just bring trouble in a predominately Bon kingdom and besides, he already had enough funds from all the raiding Mayor Udgam's warband had done. Steward Raghadeva Thamsuhang and Trade Master Sujanbai (the wife of the other Raghadeva: the Thakuri ruler of Janakpur) joined Manadeva IV on the journey to Sumparu's capital. The Nepalis presented an impressive Asian elephant bull from Chitwan (in southern Nepal) as gift to Nyima Dudlutsen.

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The Nepali delegation spent 20 days in Sumparu. In those 20 days, Manadeva IV and Sujabai developed a relationship much more than just of a king and his trade master. The old king even handed most of his task to the clueless Raghadeva Thamsuhang and spent of his days with Sujanbai who taught him new love-making skills. Manadeva would use those new moves on Rani Uppal once he returned to his palace to make her pregnant.

With the help of his hard-working steward Ragahdeva Thamsuhang (who was later paid a handsome sum of 44 gold ducats), Manadeva managed to convince Nyima Dudlutsen that their two kingdoms would both benefit greatly from the new trade route. The two kings also discovered that they had much more interests in common than just business matters and within those 20 days of stay, they had become friends. The Nepali delegation departed with the first batch of exotic goods that people back home would surely love.
Last edited by Athara Magarat on Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:09 pm, edited 9 times in total.
Proud Member of the The Western Isles.

Keomora - It's so goddamn diverse.

Tastreira - I get a Nepal/Tibet/Mongolian vibe from it.

Covonant - It's a different unique concept which is nice to have. I love that in TWI is not just Western modeled states but states of different cultures and ideologies which makes the RP more interesting.

Polar Svalbard - 8/10 would bang.




Before idiotically calling me out for having a so-called Nazi symbol in my flag, I recommend you ACTUALLY read my dispatches.

What the symbol really is...

What my flag stands for...

And my IC constitution

User avatar
Athara Magarat
Minister
 
Posts: 2301
Founded: Oct 08, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Athara Magarat » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:26 am

World News - A New Hungarian Realm


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Meanwhile in Eastern Europe, on 30 December 867, the previously nomadic Hungarians under Arpad Almos the Dragon settled down on the Carpathian Basin as a feudal kingdom. The Hungarians would be a force to considered in European politics from this point onward. However, not all Hungarians joined Arpad Almos in his new kingdom. A large number of Hungarian clans still remained nomadic and they were called Magyar by foreigners (despite the fact that Magyar was a demonym that the Hungarians preferred more) in order to differentiate them from their settled cousins and their descendants.
Last edited by Athara Magarat on Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Proud Member of the The Western Isles.

Keomora - It's so goddamn diverse.

Tastreira - I get a Nepal/Tibet/Mongolian vibe from it.

Covonant - It's a different unique concept which is nice to have. I love that in TWI is not just Western modeled states but states of different cultures and ideologies which makes the RP more interesting.

Polar Svalbard - 8/10 would bang.




Before idiotically calling me out for having a so-called Nazi symbol in my flag, I recommend you ACTUALLY read my dispatches.

What the symbol really is...

What my flag stands for...

And my IC constitution

User avatar
Athara Magarat
Minister
 
Posts: 2301
Founded: Oct 08, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Athara Magarat » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:05 am

Manadeva IV the Hun - Chapter 2

871 AD - 874 AD


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On 18 March 871, the Licchavi court celebrated the birth of Rajkumari Shirisha; who would be rather dim-witted from her childhood. However unknown to the court and the citizens, Shirisha was not the first child of Raja Manadeva IV. In fact, Raghadeva Thakuri junior, from the affair Manadeva had with Sujanbai, was the actual first-born of the old king but no one else at the time knew of this fact. Court Guru and Philosophy Tutor Hem and Steward Raghadeva Thamsuhang were the only ones who suspected something but they knew to keep their mouths shut and besides, it was not like these two men were the best of friends with Ragahdeva Thakuri. Hem, being a hard-line Buddhist Court Guru, hated seeing Hindu Thakuris in positions of power whereas the Thamsuhang considered the man who shared his name his biggest political rival.

Manadeva clearly loved his wife Uppal; but he loved Sujanbai's warm embrace even more. To ensure that he could spend more time together with Sujanbai, the old king granted her new titles such as 'Royal Cartographer' on top of her duties as the Trade Master. He spend his day time in office with Sujanbai and nights with his queen Uppal.

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Manadeva's days and nights of bliss and pleasure were interrupted on the first day of the month of June in the year 872 when a former soldiers of noble birth named Bhairaja launched a peasant revolt from the city of Pokhara. Bhairaja, a warrior from the Tibeto-Burman Gurung tribe, had once been one of the commanders under Mayor Udgam and participated in the Sravasti raid. He was also a follower of the local monk from Pokhara who considered himself to the reincarnation of Maitreya. When the monk was exposed and sentenced to life by Manadeva, Bhairaja had felt that he had been betrayed by his king. And then there was the issue that the king spent his money on buying expensive exotic goods for residents of Kathmandu Valley and ignoring the Thikana of Pokhara that he also directly governed.

What the Licchavi court called Thikana of Pokhara had once been home to the Tamu-Magarati federation. Unlike the Kirats or the Khas or the Newa people who are ancient enough to have been mentioned in the Mahabharata, the tribes that composed of the Tamu-Magarati federation (Gurungs, Magars, Chhantyals, Bhujels, Duras, Barams and even Thakalis) were relatively newcomers. Some sources mention that these tribes migrated to western and central Nepal from Tibet due to their nomadic past whereas others mention conflicts with powerful Tibetan tribes as the primary reason for migration. These tribes had constantly been at war with each other or the Khas or the Kirats before the Licchavis took over Nepal. To stop Licchavi expansion, they had established a powerful tribal federation. Over time, however, the tribal confederation grew weak and was swallowed up as the Thikana of Pokhara under Licchavi rule.

Bhairaja's followers, initially formed as a ragtag group of misfits who sought the release of the "reincarnated Maitreya", soon changed their goals. They now sought independence from Licchavi rule and even appointed Bhairaja unofficially as the new chief of the Tamu-Magarati federation. He had trained 1800 men (and even women and children) who followed him in the art of war. The rebels officially started their revolt by attacking a garrison of 221 soldiers in Muktinath. Bhairaja was a beast on the battlefield and his rebels managed to slaughter the Licchavi garrison. Of the 221 men in the Muktinath garrison, only six soldiers managed to escape with their life and return swiftly to Kathmandu Valley whereas nine others switched sides to save their own skins.

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After the six survivors reported what had happened in Muktinath garrison and counting only around a thousand more soldiers available for combat, Raja Manadeva IV decided to hire 1240 Chinese mercenaries under Jiafu of the Orchid Band. The combined army of levies and mercenaries were 2300 men strong and enough for the rebels. On 15 September 872, the Licchavi army encircled Muktinath and this was where the battle took place. While the rebel formation was quite difficult to break through in the initial stage of the battle, it ended with a victory for Manadeva and Bhairaja meeting the so-called "reincarnated Maitreya" in prison. When the dust had settled, 700 Tamu-Magarati rebels lay dead whereas 360 Nepali and Chinese men had lost their lives for the Licchavi kingdom.

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After the rebellion had been crushed, everyone in the court talked about how Manadeva had been inspiration to them on the battlefield (even though all the old king did was be present in the front-line and shout commands without swinging his sword). Manadeva felt proud to be recognized by his men and to celebrate their victory, the senior members of the court went on a hunting trip in the outskirt of Kathmandu Valley. However, the party encountered the biggest bear they had seen in their lifetime. The bear was territorial and the next moment, the entire hunting party was struggling to fight the beast. Manadeva finally managed to push his sword deep into the bear only after almost all of his men had been severely injured. In fact, the only ones unscathed were Manadeva himself and Court Guru Hem.

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After the death of Chancellor Manadeva Lamichhane, Bhikkhu Sahil of Pashupatinath was made his successor. The new chancellor was sent the great Pala Kingdom in south to improve relations with them. Instead, it was discovered that Maharaja Narayanpala coveted the Thikana of Pokhara. Some of the followers of so-called "reincarnated Maitreya" and rebel Bhairaja's men had escaped to the Pala realm as refugees and they had apparently signed documents which laughably stated that Pokhara had once been ruled by the Pala dynasty.

As laughable as the claim was, everyone in the Licchavi court knew that the threat was serious. The Pala Kingdom (it was technically an empire but has been called kingdom in-game) was a bigger fish in the pond called Indian subcontinent. Narayanpala's personal army itself was 2100 men strong and had seven powerful vassals willing to fight for him. Manadeva IV now hardly slept; always dreading a sudden Pala attack. He minted more coins with metals of lesser value (a practice that everyone frowned upon) so that he could hire larger number of mercenaries in case things went south.
Last edited by Athara Magarat on Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:23 pm, edited 8 times in total.
Proud Member of the The Western Isles.

Keomora - It's so goddamn diverse.

Tastreira - I get a Nepal/Tibet/Mongolian vibe from it.

Covonant - It's a different unique concept which is nice to have. I love that in TWI is not just Western modeled states but states of different cultures and ideologies which makes the RP more interesting.

Polar Svalbard - 8/10 would bang.




Before idiotically calling me out for having a so-called Nazi symbol in my flag, I recommend you ACTUALLY read my dispatches.

What the symbol really is...

What my flag stands for...

And my IC constitution

User avatar
Athara Magarat
Minister
 
Posts: 2301
Founded: Oct 08, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Athara Magarat » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:25 pm

Manadeva IV the Hun - Chapter 3

875 AD - 880 AD


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On the morning of 3 February 875, Raja Manadeva IV woke up and went to the window to greet the sun. His eyes fell upon the castle garden that had for years been neglected and turned into an overgrown and chaotic disgrace. The weeds were knee-high and the vines made the garden almost impassable without a sword in hand. It was then that the old king decided he would turn it into a real garden with a glorious hedge maze.

Just as he was trimming the weeds in the garden, the man named Ankit was also present there. This Ankit had been one of the former rebels under Bhairaja but been pardoned after the rebellion ended since it would really be a waste of potential for such a warrior of great martial power to languish in prison. Ankit was one of the few who regularly visited the royal garden. Manadeva sought the former rebel's help in planting row after row of beautiful local species of flowers.

Soon, the royal garden was back to its former glory and monks from a nearby monastery to come and meditate there. One of these senior monks had a rare special copy of the philosophical Hindu epic Mahabharat and Raja Mandeva duly bought it for 50 gold ducats. The senior monk smiled as he complemented the king and his garden. And indeed, Manadeva was nowadays known more for his gardening skills than as the businessman who spent 50 gold coins on an unknown group of craftsmen or as the one established a new route to Sumparu.

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On 18 July 875, the Licchavi court welcomed the birth of Rajkumari Shirisha's sister Asmita. She would would grow up to be a shorter than most others. Seven months later, another son was born from the affair between Manadeva and Sujanbai. Raghadeva Thakuri, happy that a second son had been "born to him", named the boy after Lord Ram.

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Children were being born in every household and Kathmandu Valley's population was now larger than ever. Administrative work was getting difficult and thus, Manadeva created the Dama of Lalitpur under Tiray Garden of the Tibeto-Burman Tamang tribe. House Garden Tamang would look after the citizens of Lalitpur and their well-being and protection. In return, the people of Lalitpur were to pay tax to House Garden Tamang (and indirectly to Licchavi king for House Garden Tamang paid their taxes to him) in this feudal rule. Lalitpur was by no means a new settlement. Historically, it had been founded around 3rd Century BC by the Kirats and further expanded in 6th Century CE by Manadeva IV's ancestors. The pur (town) had been named after Lalit, a farmer who brought god Rato Machhindranath all the way from Kamakhya Temple in Assam. The other name of this town was Yala; after the legendary Kirati king Yalamber (or Yalung Hang).

While the valley was more richer and populous than ever, more people also meant more noise. The barking dogs, the drunkards at the tavern, the crying children and all other noises disturbed the old king from having sound sleep. However, he quickly fixed the problem by creating ear plugs from beeswax.

For several months, good news arrived from all directions. The craftsmen Manadeva had funded returned twice the investment sum after the success of their wooden sculpture business. Meanwhile, the Nepali warband raided the Bhutanese County of Paro and looted 135 gold ducats from Monyul Kundun before burning down his palace and capital city.

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The Pala Kingdom to the south may be the bigger fish in the Indian subcontinent. But there was and even more powerful force in the east. The so-called Sons of Heaven who ruled the massive Tang Empire. While Manadeva had been busy fighting Bhairaja's rebellion, the Chinese armies had brought Khagan Guyug Nerguii of Khangai under submission in a quick tributary war. According to various sources, the Tang Empire had responded this way after Guyug's Mongolian raiders looted a few westernmost Chinese provinces.

While most of the Chinese armies returned back after the war had been over, a significant number of their battalions still remained stationed alongside the borders of the Khangai Khaganate. For six years, Duke Arslan Idiqut of the Uyghur Kingdom of Qocho had feared that he would be next. His ancestors had established this great kingdom to escape invasions by the Kirghiz up north. He had vowed that he would defend the Uyghur kingdom no matter what; even if it meant giving up one's dignity and becoming the tributaries of the Tang Empire. Only after this document was signed did the Chinese battalions along the Qocho-Khangai border headed back to their homeland as everyone else in the region breathed huge sighs of relief.

Rani Uppal had lived in Qocho for 16 years and she was always interested in any news related to her birthplace. And this was how the Licchavi court learned that even great kingdoms like the Khangai Khaganate and Qocho had submitted themselves to the Emperor in the East. Manadeva IV decided that he would lead a caravan to the Chinese capital and seek a peace treaty.
Last edited by Athara Magarat on Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:41 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Proud Member of the The Western Isles.

Keomora - It's so goddamn diverse.

Tastreira - I get a Nepal/Tibet/Mongolian vibe from it.

Covonant - It's a different unique concept which is nice to have. I love that in TWI is not just Western modeled states but states of different cultures and ideologies which makes the RP more interesting.

Polar Svalbard - 8/10 would bang.




Before idiotically calling me out for having a so-called Nazi symbol in my flag, I recommend you ACTUALLY read my dispatches.

What the symbol really is...

What my flag stands for...

And my IC constitution


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