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Alamgir Chronicles (FANTASY/OOC/OPEN/REBOOT)

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New Aeyariss
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Alamgir Chronicles (FANTASY/OOC/OPEN/REBOOT)

Postby New Aeyariss » Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:39 pm

Image


In the beginning, there was only Khoda - a being so powerful and immense that no one could even grasp him. Yet Khoda was alone, thus he set off to create a host of lesser divine beings - the Devas. He created them out of nothing and enjoyed the worship given to him by them. Yet, not all devas were content. One of them fell into pride, and became the Irbis - Prince of Darkness. He successfully convinced one third of all Devas to rebel, but could not defeat the might of Khoda. As a result, he was cast down from heaven, his followers cursed forever.

Then Khoda went to create the first human, and gave him dominion of whole Earth. But Irbis convinced the first human to rebel, which forced Kohda to cast him out. For a long period of time, humans lived on Earth; until they finally attempted one, final rebellion, building themselves a massive temple that was to be the seat of a new pantheon made of Devas.

Khoda had enough. Since humanity did not want him as their god, Khoda chose to make a deal with the fallen Devas. The earth was split; 70 fallen devas would receive one nation of men each, becoming gods of those nations and having a total absolute power over them as long as humanity would agree to it. Meanwhile Khoda chose one nation for himself - a confederation of twelve nomadic tribes. He led them out of oppression by a large neighbouring empire, to conquer vast lands. He also gave them their laws - worship of any the Devas was to be punished by death, as was an entire set of other crimes.

The tribes then invaded the lands he ordered them to conquer. After a certain period of time, the tribes proclaimed Khusrau their first king; but he became corrupt and lost Khoda's favour. Khoda then chose Farrukhsiyar, who became Emperor and during his entire reign, stayed true to Khoda's teachings. As a reward, Khoda announced that his descendants will forever be Emperors, sitting on the Peacock Throne until he finally incarnates as Emperor of Farrukhsiyar dynasty, conquers the world and deposes the daevas. . Farrukhsiyar also conquered vast lands inhabited by various pagan rajas, and subjugated them.

Descendants of Farrukhsiyar, however, were not as pious as him. As a punishment Khoda split his kingdom, and house of Farrukhsiyar remained ruling over two of twelve tribes - the Karlani and Barechi- among a sea of pagans, dominance over which was only maintained by force. Due to increased amount of disobedience, Khoda withdrew his blessings. Battles became harder, enemies - more numerous.

Due to Farrukhsiyar being of Karlani tribe, his nation became known as the Karlani Empire.

Those days were long ago. Now, a young Emperor, Alamgir, has ascended to the throne, and his troubles have only just begun.

His father had a harem so immense that even his officials are not exactly sure how many women are in it. The result was a horde of princes, who are very eager to sit on the Peacock Throne as Padishah Emperors themselves. At least four are conspiring from the shadows, waiting for an opportunity. Everything is observed by watchful eyes of Nizam of Shamshabad - an old, experienced politician with dreams to play kingmaker and one of biggest fiefs in the Empire.

To the North, the pagans are stirring again. A peaceful sect called "Chelas" (followers) was suppressed by Alamgir's father. Now, they return as a warlike cult, their bearded warriors wielding chakrams against their foes. Their only problem is their lack of unity - but perhaps among one the the misils in the khalsa there is someone who would be able to unite them?

The North is not the only place where the Pagans are rebelling. Brahmaji Rao - a friend of Alamagir from his childhood days, now a powerful Raja, has launched a revolt in the South-East. From his mighty fortresses, his mounted bands launch devastating raids upon the Karlani domains. However, for all his genius, Brahamaji lacks men to expand his campaign.

The East is not calm too. Sher Shah Bari managed to install himself as Shah of the remaining 10 tribes, and seeks to conquer the remaining two. Despite publicly posing as a perfect worshipper of Khoda, Sher Shah is a decadent hypocrite who sees the name of Khoda only as a way to manipulate his followers.

Meanwhile, young priest of Khoda has received a vision from Khoda himself, stating that due to wickedness of past emperors, Khoda decided to allow the enemies of Karlani Empire to invade and even triumph over them, hoping that through experience of suffering the tribes would turn to him. Should they do it - Alamgir will become their saviour and one of most powerful Emperors to ever sit on the Peacock Throne. Should he fail and succumb to his inner darkness - his Empire shall fall with him.

The young Emperor has to confront all this. Will you side with him? Or Perhaps his enemies and watch the Karlani Empire burn? The choice is yours!

CONCEPT:



This is a reboot of earlier Alamgir RP. Hopefully this one will go better.

The character - based RP is centred around court of Emperor Alamgir Shah Karlani of the Karlani Empire. You can RP any sort of court official - a mighty general, one of slave-soldiers guarding Alamgir, a prince, Nizam, priest or allied pagan Raja. You will quickly find that the court is a den of monsters. In cases where plot moves outside of the capital, I will let others RP the important lore characters like Sher Shah Bari or Brahmaji.

The world is a low Fantasy RP similar to the Game of Thrones. Non-human races almost don't exist (except for monsters created by fallen devas, but those are rare). Gods, do, however exist - but they move mostly indirectly. Magic, while present, is mostly indirect as well (see religion is magic trope), will bring you into grasp of fallen devas and characters loyal to Khoda are forbidden from using it.

The setting is loosely inspired by that of Mughal Empire, with "persianised, monotheistic" elite ruling over vast "hindu, polytheist" masses. Technology resembles that of mid-XVI century, with gunpowder weapons common, but lacking edges over bows and arrows.

RULES:



1) I am the OP. My word is law here.

2) Keep NS rules. This is dark fantasy, but limit everything to PG-13.

3) Please make sure to adjust yourself to the climate. Your characters are shaped by a certain society.

4) The posts are to be written with quality. One liners are forbidden.

5) No metagaming or godmodding.

6) At least one post a week is required.
Rping in MT (2018) and PT/FanT (1564)


Inyourfaceistan wrote:You didn't know that Cusc is actually a 4-armed cyborg genius commander and skillful warrior created in secret by a cabal of rich capitalist financiers built to lead and army of drones and other renegades against and overbearing socialist regime?
Psalms 144:1 wrote:Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Also known as El Cuscatlan, Jesus will offer you eternal life if you believe in him!


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New Aeyariss
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Postby New Aeyariss » Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:40 pm

CHARACTERS ROSTER:


New Aeyariss: Alamgir Shah ibn Farroukshiyar - Emperor; Bijan Mansoori - Minor priest turned prophet.


CHARACTERS APPLICATION:



Code: Select all
[b]Nation Name[/b]:
[b]RP SAMPLE[/b]:
___________________
[b]Character Name[/b]:
[b]House/Clan/Famlilly[/b]:
[b]Religion[/b]:
[b]Age[/b]:
[b]Gender[/b]:
[b]Role/Occupation/Titles[/b]:
[b]Description[/b]:
[b]Backstory[/b]:
[b]Strengths & Flaws[/b]: (Characters without realistic flaws won't be accepted. You can't be good at everything).
[b]Code for tracking purposes[/b]: Alamgir16
Rping in MT (2018) and PT/FanT (1564)


Inyourfaceistan wrote:You didn't know that Cusc is actually a 4-armed cyborg genius commander and skillful warrior created in secret by a cabal of rich capitalist financiers built to lead and army of drones and other renegades against and overbearing socialist regime?
Psalms 144:1 wrote:Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Also known as El Cuscatlan, Jesus will offer you eternal life if you believe in him!


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New Aeyariss
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Postby New Aeyariss » Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:41 pm

Political and Military structure of the Karlani Empire:



Original nomadic confederation was known as "Khodani" (worshippers of Khoda). Out of their 12 tribes, the tribe of Karlani, tracing their descent to Karlan the Firstborn, was regarded as the grandest. Following the splintering of the first Empire, the term "Karlani" came to mean the Khodaist population under Imperial Rule, regardless of tribal affiliation.

It is important to note that for the Karlani, a noble title is always stuck between name and surname. For example, Alamgir Shah Kalrani, Ibrahim Mirza Suri, etc.

Karlani Empire is at least, in theory, absolute monarchy. It's head is Padishah Emperor, from the Karlani tribe, who, at least in theory, has absolute power. In practice, due to the fact that laws of Khoda were given by divine revelation, the power of the Emperor is restrained by them.

Heir to the throne has title of Khan (originally, this title meant a military leader chosen by Khoda. Khans led the tribes until the days Khursau). Other children of the Emperor have usually the title of Mirza (Prince).

Below the Emperor is the Vizier - the second most important office in the Empire. He is the Emperor's right hand, organising and directing the functioning of the government.

Below him are the four ministers.

- Amir Bakhshi heads the Military Ministry. He is in charge of defence, postal service and feudal system.
- Amir Besa heads Financial Ministry. He is in charge of taxation and court spending.
- Amir Allwanin is always a priest of Khoda, from a special clan that has monopoly on priestly duties. He is in charge of both religious and judicial system. He also manages the charity work.
- Amir Kud heads the Imperial House Ministry. He is responsible for both managing the life of the dynasty and carrying public works. He has an attendant, always a woman, who is in charge of the Imperial Harem - usually so large it requires it's own bureaucracy.

The Emperor, Heir to the throne, Vizier and four ministers form a governing council known as Diwan.

The empire is divided into provinces called "subahs" with governors known "zamindars". Each subah in fact a feudal fief, which the governor has to manage in the name of the Emperor. Zamidars are members of nobility, with varying titles depending on size and population of their subah. They have varying titles: Nawab (King - in case of a large fief), Mirza (prince), or if they are vassalised pagans, rajah or maharajah. The title of zamidar is not hereditary and upon death of a governor, the Emperor is obliged to designate a new one. In practice, due to corruption, local dynasties have already formed. Each zamidar has his own diwan modelled after the Imperial one, which the ones RPing the governors are free to RP.

Each fief is obliged to provide a number of soldiers, depending on it's size and population, both cavalry and infantry. Nominally the zamidar is obliged to command in person, but if he is unable to, he can designate an official called "marzban" to command in his stead. An unit provided by a feudal lord is called "Corps" and named after the lord who pays for it (ex. Ibrahim Mirza's Corps). Corpuses differ in size, but usually range from 2000 to 10 000 soldiers. Because the ruling class of the Empire originated as nomads, they prize cavalry far more than infantry. War elephants are also fielded.

There are only two branches of the military that answer directly to the Emperor. The first is artillery corps, composed of both canons and primitive rockets, headed by Marzban - e - Dukhani. The second one are the Ahids - elite slave soldiers, all cavalry, who are also charged with protecting the Emperor. Their commander is Marzban - e - Ahidi. All officers within the Ahids are slaves and are selected from among the units.

Imperial Harem has it's own system of ranks, depending on importance of the wife. There is one Empress, two Queens (those are always political marriage alliances), Ten princesses. Remaining women hold titles of consort. The harem is managed by Amira-e-Haram, always a woman and an attendant to Amir Kud - the highest office a woman can hold.

Weapons of Karlani Empire:





Weaponry of Karalnis and the pagans differs.

Since Kharlani started as Steppe Nomads, they heavily favour cavalry over infantry. Most of their forces are made of cavalry, fitted with chain mail armour (see Persian armor on reference #2), a large round shield, spear and a composite bow with quiver. Such a force is efficient against both in ranged and melee combat. As sidearms, they use curved sabres and axes (against armoured opponents).

The native rajputs prefer to fight in melee. They usually wear a brigandine type of armour, known as "coat of ten thousand nails" and prefer straight swords known as khanda and long lances. Tactics of their cavalry usually relay on shock effect of the charge.

The exception here are the Brahmaji's men, who adopted tactics of their steppe opponent. They wear almost no armour to maximise mobility and gladly use composite bows. Each warrior has 3 horses, and changes the one on which he rides to travel quickly.

All sides use war elephants - which are terrifying in melee, but vulnerable to mass musket fire.

Both Khodaists and Pagans use Katar as self defence weapon. Almost every noble carries such a dagger everywhere he goes, regardless of religion.

Originally a pagan weapon, the gauntlet sword has been enjoying popularity among the Ahids when on foot guard duty.

Distinctive part of the Imperial Army are the Khaljis. Long periods of warfare led to formation of a large amount of roving bands, which prowl the countryside and loot the locals. Such bands are filled with worst kinds of men and are of mixed religious and ethnic origin, their sole motivation being looting. During times of war, Khaljis gladly offer their services to whoever pays the most, and flock to imperial war camps should the Emperor agree to let them loot.

Khaljis fight as light cavalry, preferring mobility over protection, making round shields, composite bows, spears and yatagans their favioured weapons. They can fight with reckless abandon, but their loyalty is dependent purely on their material gain.



Unlike the armies in real world Europe, the infantry known as sepoys does not use pikes. Armament of a typical sepoy consists of a sabre, a large round shield and a musket. Sepoy formations are made of men of poor social standing, often pressed into service and have low prestige in the empire. Despite that they form bulk of the Imperial Troops and be very effective when firing via volleys of musket fire, but are vulnerable to cavalry charges should their firepower prove insufficient. Hence commanders often deploy them behind fortifications, such as a line of carts or trenches.

Sepoys are very similar regardless of religion of their lord.

The artillery is mostly focused in the artillery corps, albeit individual lords do possess their own canons. Aside from the canons, popular weapons include zamburaks and rockets - similar to modern day fireworks, with horrid accuracy, but effective to scare enemy soldiers.

Professional warriors train in Houses of Strength. Very often their training routines consist of performing physical exercises with Indian clubs while singing songs about ancient heroes. Another popular form of training is the wrestling - something that is commonly practiced among the nobles and so popular that even the Emperors don't shy from a wrestling match.

Polo, as a way of cavalry training is also popular, as is archery.

If you want to study more about weapons used by the Karlani Empire I recommend YT channels such as Razmafzar TV or Sanatan Shastravidya.


Religions:



The dominant religion of the Empire is Khodaism.

Khodaism could be classified as henotheistic religion. It believes in existence of Khoda (Lord) - a single transcendental being. No one saw Khoda, nor knows truly how he looks like. He created the universe from nothing alongside with all it's inhabitants.

The term "devas" refers to the celestial beings and includes all inhabitants of three heavens. Khoda is a deva, but not all devas are Khoda. Other devas aside from Khoda are finite, immanent and significantly less powerful. Though other gods exist, only Khoda is worthy of worship.

Below Khoda is his council of devas, created due to the fact that Khoda respects free will of his children and is willing to honour their wishes. Most powerful evil Devas are also members, albeit only as long as the agreement between Khoda and the fallen devas stands.

The core of Khodaist religion is built around the holy book known as Vendidad. It describes the early days of the world, human rebellions and covenant that Khoda made with Prophet - Khan Bahman during the days when tribes left an oppressive Empire and migrated through the desert. Khan Rustam, who led the invasion of the region appears as a character, but his time as a khan is not described.

The Vendidad contains 613 commandments that Khoda gave to Prophet-Khan Bahman, as well as list of religious rituals and laws. However, the ten most important laws are:

1: Other devas exist, but Khoda is the lord of devas. Do not worship any lesser deva. Only Khoda is worthy of worship.
2: Do not make idols to worship them.
3: Do not take the name of Khoda in vain, for his name is Holy.
4: Celebrate all the feasts and rituals as prescribed in Vendidad.
5: Pay proper honours to your parents.
6: Do not commit murder.
7: Do not lie with wife of your fellow man.
8: Do not take property of your fellow man.
9: Do not attempt to fare your fellow man into false crimes.
10: Do not desire property of your fellow man.

Khodaism centres around rituals of blood sacrifice of animals, which are believed to cover sins committed by the people of Khoda.

Only members of Mansoori clan are allowed to be priests. There is also only one temple of Khoda, located in Khusraubad. Remainder of Karlanis perform their cults and sacrifices around community altars. The cult is headed by High Priest, who is also Amir Allwanin. Among his duties is ensuring that the Emperor adheres to laws of Khoda, as well as serve as legal advice.

There are seven major feasts that Karlani are ordered to celebrate.

Another important concept is ritual purity. Khodaists are required to purify themselves with water in several cases, such childbirth, touching a corpse, eating unclean food, etc.

Khodaism believes that all gods of the pagans are fallen devas, who were allowed to temporary reign over humanity as a punishment for renouncing Khoda. Khoda, however, does not intend to keep this state idenfinetly. The purpose in choosing of the tribes was to create an Empire where one day, Khoda could incarnate, assume the throne and conquer the world, thus bringing an end to reign of fallen devas.

Critics of Khodanism often point to intolerance for other cults, harsh laws usually ending in death by stoning, authoritarian social structure and massacres committed by forces of Khan Rostam during his invasion of the region as arguments against Khodaism. They claim laws of Khoda are oppressive, the god - uncaring and cold, willing to put his believes through pain and suffering through his purposes and allow his believers to kill, enslave and plunder.

Apologists of Khodanism point out to the fact that the pagan societies were too permissive. Human sacrifices, burning of widows, sexual deviances (of course keep it PG-13) are, after all, a norm among the pagans. Khodanist apologists point out to those activities and portray the invasion and all the violence associated with it as righteous divine punishment for people who chose to listen demon gods instead of Khoda.

What is the truth, I want your characters to decide for themselves.



Geography of the Empire:



Karlani name for peninsula which they live on is Bhadristan, from the river Badra. Pagans refer to the region as Vrisha, from the name of legendary king who was rumoured to be progenitor of pagan dynasties in the area.

+ Khusraubad: Capital and Holy City of the Karlani Empire. Both the political and religious centres are located here.

- Crimson Citadel (Photo): The Imperial palace and seat of the Karlani Emperor. Famed for it's crimson walls.

- Temple of Khoda: the sole temple of Khodaist religion and the seat of Archpriest. The temple is divided into three parts; outer court court, middle chamber and the holy chamber. A massive brazier burns in the outer court, signifying Khoda's presence.

Because according to Khodaist religion, only those of Mansoori clan can hold office of the priest, there is a significant Mansoori community in Khursaubad..

The lands of Sher Shah, where the remaining 10 Khodani tribes live is known as Ghondistan.
Last edited by New Aeyariss on Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rping in MT (2018) and PT/FanT (1564)


Inyourfaceistan wrote:You didn't know that Cusc is actually a 4-armed cyborg genius commander and skillful warrior created in secret by a cabal of rich capitalist financiers built to lead and army of drones and other renegades against and overbearing socialist regime?
Psalms 144:1 wrote:Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Also known as El Cuscatlan, Jesus will offer you eternal life if you believe in him!


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Ovstylap
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Postby Ovstylap » Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:59 am

Hello, I shall definitely sign up again, I will have to do this after the weekend however as I have some RL things before then, as well as working on apps for RPs! Excited to be back.
Please check out New Aeyariss's RP: The Alamgir Chronicles! A character-based RP in a low-fantasy setting, inspired by the Mughal Empire, primarily focused on court intrigue, and also on factional rivalries, and governing a fractured country.
OOC Link: viewtopic.php?f=31&t=517426
IC Link: viewtopic.php?f=31&t=517468

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Of the Quendi
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Postby Of the Quendi » Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:37 am

I am definitely interested in playing Brahmaji Rao but maybe it would make more sense for me to write and app for someone who starts out at court and can more easily interact with other people's characters?
Nation RP name
Arda i Eruhíni (short form)
Alcarinqua ar Meneldëa Arda i Eruhíni i sé Amanaranyë ar Aramanaranyë (long form)

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New Aeyariss
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Postby New Aeyariss » Thu Sep 22, 2022 3:25 pm

No worries, take your time?

As for Quendi I am up for Rao being RPed, and I will leave his story to you.
Rping in MT (2018) and PT/FanT (1564)


Inyourfaceistan wrote:You didn't know that Cusc is actually a 4-armed cyborg genius commander and skillful warrior created in secret by a cabal of rich capitalist financiers built to lead and army of drones and other renegades against and overbearing socialist regime?
Psalms 144:1 wrote:Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Also known as El Cuscatlan, Jesus will offer you eternal life if you believe in him!


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Cybernetic Socialist Republics
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Founded: May 17, 2019
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Postby Cybernetic Socialist Republics » Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:02 pm

Interested in playing Amir Besa.

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New Aeyariss
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Founded: May 12, 2010
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Postby New Aeyariss » Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:13 pm

Cybernetic Socialist Republics wrote:Interested in playing Amir Besa.


Write an application and we will see.
Last edited by New Aeyariss on Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rping in MT (2018) and PT/FanT (1564)


Inyourfaceistan wrote:You didn't know that Cusc is actually a 4-armed cyborg genius commander and skillful warrior created in secret by a cabal of rich capitalist financiers built to lead and army of drones and other renegades against and overbearing socialist regime?
Psalms 144:1 wrote:Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Also known as El Cuscatlan, Jesus will offer you eternal life if you believe in him!


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Of the Quendi
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Founded: Mar 18, 2010
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Of the Quendi » Fri Sep 23, 2022 10:22 am

New Aeyariss wrote:No worries, take your time?

As for Quendi I am up for Rao being RPed, and I will leave his story to you.

I think I will prefer to start by writing an application for Brahmaji Rao's sister, a hostage/concubine at the court. That way I have a character people can actually interact with, and if along the way the RP turns to focus on war with Brahmaji Rao I can always apply as him then. Does that make sense?
Nation RP name
Arda i Eruhíni (short form)
Alcarinqua ar Meneldëa Arda i Eruhíni i sé Amanaranyë ar Aramanaranyë (long form)

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New Aeyariss
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Postby New Aeyariss » Fri Sep 23, 2022 8:39 pm

Of the Quendi wrote:
New Aeyariss wrote:No worries, take your time?

As for Quendi I am up for Rao being RPed, and I will leave his story to you.

I think I will prefer to start by writing an application for Brahmaji Rao's sister, a hostage/concubine at the court. That way I have a character people can actually interact with, and if along the way the RP turns to focus on war with Brahmaji Rao I can always apply as him then. Does that make sense?


Sure, that works for me.
Rping in MT (2018) and PT/FanT (1564)


Inyourfaceistan wrote:You didn't know that Cusc is actually a 4-armed cyborg genius commander and skillful warrior created in secret by a cabal of rich capitalist financiers built to lead and army of drones and other renegades against and overbearing socialist regime?
Psalms 144:1 wrote:Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Also known as El Cuscatlan, Jesus will offer you eternal life if you believe in him!


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Of the Quendi
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Posts: 15305
Founded: Mar 18, 2010
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Of the Quendi » Sat Sep 24, 2022 4:42 am

Nation Name: of the Quendi
RP SAMPLE: https://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?p=39699568&sid=b92e37f2cf3eba8d7f64a7e97817f0ec#p39699568
___________________
Character Name: Dharma of Vijayanagara / Zinat-un-Nissa Mahal
House/Clan/Famlilly: Vijayangara family
Religion: Pagan
Age: 20
Gender: Female
Role/Occupation/Titles: Princess of Vijayanagara, concubine (and hostage) at the Crimson Citadel
Description: Zinat-un-Nissa Mahal is an uncommonly beautiful young woman. Though perhaps a bit too tall (all members of the Vijayanagara family are tall) for a woman, she nevertheless has a beautiful slender figure with a narrow waist and wider hips and breasts. She has long dark hair that is neither wavy nor straight. She has smooth clear and unblemished skin in a beautiful amber colored hue, large green doe-eyes and delicate angelic physical features. Being very athletic, an accomplished dancer and yoga practitioner, and leading an ascetic lifestyle without partaking in excessive dinning and abstaining from alcohol or opium consumption she has a graceful and healthy body, although she is somewhat more muscular than one might expect of a woman. She wears fine but simple clothing, eschews most jewelry and wears only a little perfume and cosmetics.

Charming and accomplished Zinat-un-Nissa Mahal posses the bearing of a dignified and honorable Vrishnan princess. Of the flirty coquettish behavior common to the imperial harem she displays none and she eschews the degenerate excesses of court in favor of a virtuous life. She remains privately devout in her own faith but does this discreetly and without offending Khodaist sensibilities. Despite being very different from most harem women she is however not given to condescension but treats others with kindness and a warm-hearted liberalism and tolerance. While she rarely seeks the company of others she is gregarious and generous with her time and attention. In her dealings with the emperor she is always respectful and deferential but never sycophantic and she does not seek to raise her status through the imperial bedchamber.

Zinat-un-Nissa Mahal loves her family, and especially her older brother Brahmaji Rao deeply, and she is devoted to the cause of Vijayangara which, as relations sour between Brahmaji Rao and the Emperor is complicating her life in the harem and she is forced to find a way to reconcile her devotion to her brother, her faith and her people on one hand and her status as a concubine at the court of Alamgir on the other hand.
Backstory: Born as Princess Dharma, the future Zinat-un-Nissa Mahal is the daughter of the great warlord Bindusara, Maharajah of Vijayangara and his principal consort Asandhimitra, making her thus the full sister of her older brother Prince Karna, the future Brahmaji Rao. When Princess Dharma was born her father, a member of the Khsatriya caste, was one of, if not the, foremost rulers of independent Vrisha, a proud and honorable warrior prince and not an unkind father. But Bindusara for all his might and power proved too ambitious for even his own great talents. Seeking to expand his realm and his power Bindusara eventually attracted the ire of all of his neighbors, both Khodaists and pagans, when he sought to conquer the kingdom of Amreli. Though successful at conquering this kingdom the Amreli general Sage Virata inflicted such enormous casualties on the Vijayanagaran forces that Bindusara no longer had the means to defend himself against his many enemies. Supported by the Karlani Padishah a coalition led by Sultan Zafar Khan attacked Vijayanagara and successfully conquered the state. Zafar Khan became the foremost ruler of the region as the nominal vassal of the Karlani with Bindusara much reduced to a small state around his sacked capital. This embittered and poisoned the mind of the once noble warrior and he grew to be an intolerant and cruel man, continuously scheming and plotting to restore his honor and his power, while resorting to alchol, drugs and licentiousness to numb his own pain. This was the Bindusara Dharma and her siblings knew growing up.

While her mother did her utmost to shield young Dharma from the degenerate court of her father growing up in a broken Bindusara's palace was no pleasant experience for the young girl whose older brothers were sent to various courts as hostages. Even the best efforts of Asandhimitra could not hide from young Dharma the nature of her father who was often violent and abusive towards his wife (though also often very contrite afterwards). Despite the mercurial and abusive nature of her husband (whom she of course remembered from before the ruin of Vijayanagara) Asandhimitra raised her daughter to love, honor and respect her father and dedicated herself to giving her daughter a good education. Dharma proved a remarkably able student. She was well-versed in Karlani and the Vrishan languages from an early age (and later learned more languages), learning to read and recite poetry in both. She even wrote some of her own. She also played the sitar and painted.

Despite her educational talents Dharma was however a rebellious and unruly girl. Her mother's admonishment that she ought to love, honor and respect the degenerate drunk who regularly beat her beloved mother did not sit well with her at all. When Bindusara sent her favorite brother, the one closest to her in age, Karna as a hostage to the Imperial Court she blamed her father and attempted to run away from the palace to join Karna. She was of course caught and beaten (for the first time) by her father. This did not end her rebellion however. Having lost her one beloved companion the princess took to spending time away from the venal court of her father indulging in archery, hawking, horsemanship, fencing and mallakhamba with the boys of the upper kshatriya aristocracy of Vijayanagara. This horrified her mother, but oddly Bindusara never objected. Despite being smaller and scrawny Dharma soon proved able to match her friends in their martial and masculine games which did not sit well with all of them and despite her status she was often picked on by the boys.

One boy who never picked on her was Damodar of Jhansa, a princeling of a small neighboring state. Smitten with the scrawny princess he was always ready to defend her honor with such vigor and enthusiasm he probably prevented much abuse. Dharma however was not grateful and found it mostly an annoyance; she was accustomed to rather more terrifying bullies than prepubescent boys and needed no help she felt. But as both she and her playmates grew older puberty, inevitably, set in, complicating life significantly. Almost overnight the scrawny flat-chested princess grew into a stunning beauty while her playmates went from boys to young men. Maharani Asandhimitra now insisted that the princess separate from her playmates but was only partially successful, as the princess on occasion managed to escape the stifling court and be with her dubious friends who now looked at her differently. Inevitable Damodar of Jhansa who propositioned her first. Already when they where children he had proposed marriage to her, only to be rebuffed. He now made another passionate plea and received a polite (and exasperated) refusal. Soon more determined and less courteous offers was made by some of the other young men. After an unfortunate incident when a young boy, embarrassed at being defeated by Dharma in a sword fight accosted her only to be beaten to within an inch of his life by Damodar, the Maharani forced her husband to finally take action and separate Dharma from her friends.

While initially accepting of the fact (having been rather shocked by the incident with Damodar and the other boy) Dharma quickly grew bored and restive in the palace. But then the son of Zafar Khan arrived at Vijayanagara. As subjects of Zafar Khan Bindusara's family had little choice but to treat the young prince with a respect bordering on servility. The prince took an instant liking to Dharma and soon asked Bindusara, in a rather insulting and imperious manner for her hand in marriage. Incensed Bindusara refused and almost attacked the young prince who departed Vijayanagara in anger. Bindusara declared that he would rather kill his daughter than let Zafar Khan's kin defile her. A violent row erupted between father and daughter during which Bindusara appeared to attempt to rape his daughter, but the Maharani intervened and attacked her husband. Dharma escaped and for the next few weeks resided in her own appartment hearing nothing from her mother (who it was rumored was critically injured) or her father (who had apparently drunk himself into a stupor). Soon a letter arrived from Zafar Khan demanding Dharma marry his son.

Bindusara approached his daughter. He told her that he had decided for her to marry Damodar of Jhansa and that she was to go with him and an escort to Jhansa immediately to escape Zafar Khan. Better, Bindusara said, a minor princeling of little repute than the son and heir of Zafar Khan. Bindusara also came close to (but didn't quite manage) expressing regret at his treatment of his daughter.

Dharma now set out with an overjoyed Damodar to Jhansa. After an uneventful journey she reached that small Raj, where Damodar's mother, Lakhsmibal ruled. Dharma was immediately impressed with Rani Lakhsmibal, an accomplished ruler and warrior woman who had managed to make her small state thrive surrounded by larger and hostile powers. Lakhsmibal for her part was pleased with her prospective daughter-in-law and took her under her wing. She however objected to Dharma's rebelliousness and demanded dutiful devotion from the younger woman. Dharma, ill accustomed to that, balked initially but eventually relented. While the Rani did not object to, and in fact encouraged, Dharma's more wild and martial pursuits she also insisted that the princess devote herself to more feminine pursuits.

While Dharma enjoyed her stay in Jhansa the news from Vijayanagara was however disheartening. Zafar Khan had used the rejection of his demand of Dharma's hand for his son as an excuse to go to war with Vijayanagara. As vassals of Vijayangara Jhansa was obliged to come to the aid of Bindusara and the Rani soon gathered her army to march to against Zafar Khan. She brought her son and her prospective son-in-law with her. Initially excited and enthusiastic about the whole affair Dharma was shocked at seeing thousands of dead and dying soldiers on a battlefield. The thought that people should loose their lives for her to avoid a marriage to a rich and powerful prince horrified her and she suggested to the Rani Lakhsmibal that perhaps it was better that she marry Zafar Khan's son. The Rani however rejected the proposal and the war continued. In Vijayanagara Bindusara had managed to shake his depression and addiction and taken an active lead in the war, reminding those who could remember it of his older self. The war went well and Bindusara had no trouble finding allies who found Zafar Khan's behavior offensive. After a brief but very bloody war Vijayanagara seemed on the cusp of a decisive victory but then Zafar Khan reminded Bindusara that he held his son's as hostages and demanded he abandon an offensive against the heartland of Zafar Khan's state. Bindusara had little choice but to objey and soon mediation by the imperial court saw the war end as a status quo antebellum. The question of Dharma's husband was only a minor issue among the many discussed but for some reason the diplomats of the imperial court settled upon it as important and declared that Dharma should marry Zafar Khan's son to make peace.

While she had offered just such a proposal to end the war Dharma was however increasingly hostile to the notion. Aware that her brother's was mistreated by Zafar Khan and having little reason to think that her marriage with his son would effect any positive change to their situation she balked at marrying her enemy. Increasingly she had come to agree with her father that it was better that she should die than marry her enemy. But Damodar thought differently. He pleaded with Dharma that they should flee Jhansa and hide where Zafar Khan couldn't find them. While Dharma worried that this might reignite the war and didn't feel she could endanger her people for selfish reasons she was in the end convinced by Damodar. The couple fled with a few loyal servant and attendants.

One night as the rested in the jungles of Virsha the group was set upon by Naga. The Nagaraja, a son of a mighty Deva, had seen the visage of Dharma in his dreams and wanted her for his consort. While Damodar and the rest of the group was seemingly killed Dharma was dragged into the netherworld and brought before the Nagaraja who insisted she marry him. Dharma, though shocked, invoked the Deva Manasa, the Nagaraja's mother, asking her for protection. Angered by this, but unwilling to dishonor his mother, the Nagaraja dared not force Dharma to become his consort and instead decreed that she should never be allowed the netherworld unless she agreed to marry him.

Dharma thus became a resident of the netherworld. Though held against her will she was not mistreated. The Nagaraja was very smitten with her and tried to woe her. Every day he allowed her to practice fencing with the Naga and he impressed her by teaching her about magic and the most esoteric and secret elements of the Deva religion. Entranced Dharma learned all that she could from the Nagaraja and over time became more receptive to the proposed offer of marriage. She asked the Nagaraja if he would make her brother Maharaja of Vijayangara and restore it to its former territory by overthrowing Zafar Khan if she agreed to marry him. The Nagaraja gladly agreed to do so and Dharma promised to marry him once it was done. The naga was mobilizing for war when Damodar unexpectedly arrived, having survived the attack by the naga and having looked for Dharma ever since. He declared that Dharma could not marry the Nagaraja because she was betrothed to him. The Nagaraja attempted to kill Damodar but Damodar invoked the powerful Deva, the Wind God to give him strength and aid him, and in the fight Damodar killed the Nagaraja but received fatal wound himself. Moved by the devotion of her childhood friend, Dharma performed funerary rites for him and then asked the naga to return her to her home.

She arrived at Vijayanagara to find her mother death and her father once again at war with Zafar Khan. In his absence, and with all his son's hostages, she did her best to run the country with diligence and humility. After a great battle in which Zafar Khan was defeated Bindusara returned to Vijayangara, gravely injured. Despite their past Dharma dutifully cared for her father in his death struggle. Bindusara considered his inevitable death from his wounds a small price to pay for having inflicted a great defeat on Zafar Khan and was on his deathbed the man he had been before his defeat by Zafar Khan and before he died he and Dharma was reconciled and she forgave him his past mistreatment of her.

Bindusara died. His son's hostages the fate of his kingdom was in the balance. Zafar Khan decided to install his son on the throne of Vijayanagara and finally give him Dharma as a wife. This did not please Vijayanagara and its allies. But more importantly it did not please the Padishah Emperor, who had grown weary of Zafar Khan's ambition and did not wish to see Vijayangara become part of his growing empire. In Khusraubad Prince Karna struck a deal with the Padishah Emperor. Prince Karna would inherit his father's dominion and get the daughter of the Padishah Emperor as his wife, in exchange for thwarting Zafar Khan's ambitions. The Padishah Emperor however demanded hostages from Karna. Since Karna had no wife or sons and his brothers were all hostages by Zafar Khan that hostage became Dharma. She accepted this with equanimity and grace and departed in great haste for Khusraubad. There brother and sister was briefly reunited after nearly a decade's separation only for Karna to depart for Vijayanagara and the struggle with Zafar Khan.

Dharma thus entered the Imperial harem where the Padishah Emperor was greatly impressed with her beauty and comportment, and old man with a multitude of wives and concubines he however gave her to his son and heir, Karna's friend; Alamgir. Alamgir was not however in the capital and Dharma spent her first months in the capital alone, keeping herself somewhat aloof of the court. Later when Prince Alamgir returned to the capital she was formally presented to him as his concubine and given the new name Zinat-un-Nissa Mahal. The agreement between Karna and the Padishah Emperor had stipulated that Dharma could keep her own religion. This prevented her from becoming a full consort, but Karna would rather his sister be a lowly concubine of his own faith than an elevated consort of the Khodaists.

Not long thereafter however Karna, now calling himself Brahmaji Rao decisively defeated Zafar Khan and conquered much of his empire, restoring Vijayanagara to its former glory. Suddenly Zinat-un-Nissa was the sister of one of the Padishah Emperor's most powerful vassals. The Emperor was impressed, and as his own daughter was declared Maharani of Brahmaji Rao's domain, he suggested that Zinat-un-Nissa might convert and become the first wife of the crown prince, a future empress. But Zinat-un-Nissa Mahal refused. She declared it impossible for her to disobey her brother's wish that she retain the faith of her ancestors, even for the price of the imperial crown. As a result she occupies a strange place in the harem hierarchy being connected to a powerful dynasty but outranked by many concubines or more common origins. It bothers her little. While a kind and dutiful concubine for the prince she takes little part in power plays and schemes at court but prefer her own company, spending her time writing poetry and managing her not inconsiderable fortune while surreptitiously practicing magic and worshipping devas, when she is not summoned by her master.

The death of the Padishah Emperor and Alamgir's enthronement, coinciding with the ascendancy of Brahmaji Rao in much of Vrisha however threatens to destabilize her calm and somewhat dull harem existence as she must find a way to thread a path between Vijayangara and the Empire, between the Khodaism of her master and her own devotion to pagan mysteries and magic.
Strengths & Flaws:
Magic
Ever since her stay with the Nagaraja Zinat-un-Nissa has been an accomplished student and practitioner of the arcane arts. She has learned how to draw power from the Devas to influence the natural world to her liking and to do so in a reasonably safe and secure manner. She is very discreet in her practice of these arts as she know that they are forbidden and that she must pay with her life if ever found out to engage in magical rites and rituals.

Scholar
Zinat-un-Nissa Mahal is a highly educated and intelligent woman, who posses knowledge of a many intellectual subjects not often known to women. She is an accomplished poet, speaks, read and write multiple languages, is schooled in math, astronomy, history, geography, philosophy and religion among many other things. She is also an avid musician, rehearsing with her sitar daily. Since her confinement in the harem she spends almost all her time furthering her studies of these subjects and her magical and religious pursuits.

Warrior woman, athlete and animal lover
Zinat-un-Nissa Mahal is skilled in the martial arts of her Khsatriya caste. Having practiced fencing with the naga she has a unique style tailored to her to emphasize her strong suits. While not as physically strong as the great male swordsmen of the empire she is fast and make the most of any opponents tendency to underestimate a woman. She is a great archer and though she isn't strong enough to pull the heaviest or biggest bows she has a composite bow with which she is a formidable marksmen, being able to hit moving targets on great distances. She loves all animals and has a way of seemingly making them love her in turn. Whether she is riding horses or elephants, hunting with hounds or hawks, animals shows an uncanny devotion to her, and she to them. Since her confinement to the harem she has been unable to practice most of these things and has instead focused her physical energy on dancing. Though not given to the more evocative and seductive dancing practiced by some harem woman to impress their masters, her dancing is universally admired by those lucky few, men or women, who has been allowed to see it.

A Pagan at a Khodaist court
Due to her public refusal to convert to Khodaism there are many Khodaists who look down on Zinat-un-Nissa Mahal. While she is always careful not to flaunt her religiosity and often indulge Khodaist rituals and customs her status as a high ranking pagan in the harem makes her a lightning rod among more fanatical Khodaists.

Family troubles
As Brahmaji Rao's sister Zinat-un-Nissa Mahal's status and standing at court is tied to her brother's. When the then Prince Karna was but an ally of the Padishah Emperor in a distant region of the empire she was a respected if inconsequential member of the harem and the court. When Karna took Vijayangara and became Brahmaji Rao her status rose along with his. Now that trouble is brewing between the imperial court and Brahmaji Rao Zinat-un-Nissa Mahal's status is increasingly in question.

Code for tracking purposes: Alamgir16
Nation RP name
Arda i Eruhíni (short form)
Alcarinqua ar Meneldëa Arda i Eruhíni i sé Amanaranyë ar Aramanaranyë (long form)

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New Aeyariss
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 7637
Founded: May 12, 2010
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby New Aeyariss » Sat Sep 24, 2022 7:51 am

Accepted.

There are two things I would like to point out.

1) The language of the court is Ardu. It is a mish-mash of most common languages across the Empire.

2) I would change netherworld to underworld (Patala). I have specified that there exists a class of beings called "Rakshasas" which are human - Deva hybrids. Unlike the Devas, Rakshas are material. Nagas would be a type of Rakshasa descended from a serpentine Deva.


Other than that I love it!
Rping in MT (2018) and PT/FanT (1564)


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Of the Quendi
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 15305
Founded: Mar 18, 2010
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Of the Quendi » Sat Sep 24, 2022 11:23 am

New Aeyariss wrote:Accepted.

There are two things I would like to point out.

1) The language of the court is Ardu. It is a mish-mash of most common languages across the Empire.

2) I would change netherworld to underworld (Patala). I have specified that there exists a class of beings called "Rakshasas" which are human - Deva hybrids. Unlike the Devas, Rakshas are material. Nagas would be a type of Rakshasa descended from a serpentine Deva.


Other than that I love it!

Great. Underworld it is then.
Nation RP name
Arda i Eruhíni (short form)
Alcarinqua ar Meneldëa Arda i Eruhíni i sé Amanaranyë ar Aramanaranyë (long form)


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