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The History of Jamuga Khan and his Hordeby Captain Ebenezum
Many rumours are told about Jamuga Khan, most wrong, some even correct. Some have asked me to tell them what kind of man this Jamuga Khan really is. I am not sure if I am the right man for this task, but as an officer in the navy of Her Imperial Majesty I know to do my duty. So be it! Here comes the whole truth about the Mighty Khan as his henchmen often call him.
The most cited rumour is that Jamuga Khan comes from the steppes of Ethengar, the so-called "Sea of Grass". This is not true! Jamuga Khan is not an Ethengarian!
The khan was born in Lago Springs in AY 1895 under the name Halladalla. For all those among my readers not too aquatinted with geography shall be said that this town lies in north-western Lagrius, one of the Alphatian kingdoms of Bellissaria. It is an old custom that our parents give names to us when we are born, and it is an Alphatian custom to choose names with a good sound. This the reason that my mother has chosen the name "Ebenezum" for me, but unlike me the khan was not content with his name of birth.
AY 1913 the khan left his native island the first time to study at the University of Sundsvall. This was the first time he met my father, and they were fellow students for the next years. After finishing their studies in AY 1917 my father decides to join the Imperial Army and Jamuga Khan became an adventurer. He left the empire and went to Brun where he finally found the steppes of the Ethengars. In those days the tribes were united under Toktai Khan, and Jamuga were captured by riders of the Keshak. He became a captive, but decided to swear an oath of fealty. So he was a part of the Ethengarian army which attacked the Heldannic town Hayavik in 1919. As every historian can tell you this attack was repulsed. Jamuga gave Toktai Khan the advice to acquire siege engines, and as a pragmatic leader of a pragmatic people Toktai Khan followed this advice.
The next seven years Jamuga lived on the Sea of Grass as adviser of the Great Khan. While his khan prepared his next attack on Hayavik, Jamuga learned fighting and casting spells from horseback from a hakomon. Yes, these hakomons! I will have to say some words about them. Of course they are a wild bunch of primitive spell casters compared with Alphatian wizards, but be honest: This sentence is true for all countries of Mystara!
Especially these damned Glantrians always underestimate the Ethengarian hakomons. They are outcasts living alone in the steppes, feared and respected by other Ethengarians, plagued by various taboos, but their results are good as those of every other wizard. Besides that some, although not all, hakomons know how to fight from horseback. Some hakomons are working on a honorary base for the khans of the steppes, some even on a long-standing contract. One of the hakomons working for Toktai Khan taught Jamuga all to be known about the life on the Sea of Grass.
Finally the year 1926 came, when the hordes of Ethengar attacked Hayavik again, and Jamuga rode with them. This time they were well-prepared and Hayavik fell. Unfortunately Toktai Khan had been killed and the tribes retreated to the steppes to elect a new Great Khan ... without success!
Jamuga had fulfilled his oath as his khan was dead. Now he left Ethengar and returned to Bellissaria. Over the next years he searched and founded followers for a new way of life. He taught them the life as nomadic warriors and chose the name "Jamuga Khan" for himself. In the kingdoms Dawnrim and Lagrius are many plains and grasslands, appropriated for such a life. Over the next twenty years Jamuga Khan formed his horde in the northern foreland of the Surshield Wall. He married Courrie, a cleric of Mealiden from Meriander. Courrie were intrigued by the possibilities of such a life as she is allowed to use bows.
As every Alphatian should know, Bellissaria is a calm and uneventful place, and the kings and queens like it exactly that way. The kingdom Lagrius were a foe of the horde from the beginning, but it could not do very much against it as the greatest part of the horde's territory was part of Dawnrim. After nearly twenty years of negotiations both kingdoms came to an agreement, and the horde was shoved out. This was a bitter day for Jamuga Khan, but he could not dare to fight the kingdom's armies as this had been against Imperial law.
So in AY 1947 the horde went to Horken and left Bellissaria by ship. Some members of the horde decided to give up their nomadic life and settled down. Among these were the eighteen year old son of Jamuga Khan and Courrie, Dasadas, and the fifteen year old daughter Ari-Ki. Actun-Tai, only ten years old, left with her parents.
If you now think that the children of Jamuga Khan had committed treason to the ideas of their fathers, dear reader, I must tell you that you are completely wrong! Instead it were an idea Dasadas and Jamuga had developed to maintain a nomadic life in Bellissaria on a low level. Dasadas, who now called himself Dasadas Khan, reformed the horde as a club of knocking-off nomads. Dawnrim and Lagrius were suspicious but did not do anything against it.
This remained until 1957, when Princess Siaron of Dawnrim travelled to Blueside to marry the king of Lagrius, King Demeter Lagrius. On the street between Coppertown and Marbleton she was attacked by some Surshield anarchists, who had passed the Surshield Wall, trying to steal the dowry. Dasadas Khan and Ari-Ki Orkhan had got knowledge about this plan, and they were well-prepared. They drove away the attackers. Princess Siaron were very grateful, and her husband and her father had no other chance than to legalise the horde. In AY 2000 the horde had a number of 13000, most living in Dawnrim, which is very sparsely populated.
In the war against Thyatis, Glantri and Heldann Dasadas Khan and Ari-Ki Orkhan led two mingams against the foes of the Alphatian Empire. When left before the gates of Thyatis Cities the both siblings decided to return to Bellissaria. They managed to get their troops to the Isle of Dawn and they were in Thothia when the famous Thothian counterattack occurred. After that both had enough of the war and returned to home only to discover that the big island has been threatened by the mad emperor Zandor in the last years. The remaining members of the horde were no help as most were simple too old or too young to fight the imperial troops, but these problems were gone now.
But let us go back to Jamuga Khan. As told before Jamuga Khan left with the greater part of the horde via the port of Horken. They sailed to Rock Harbour, the free city in south-eastern Esterhold, and entered the inland of the peninsula. Rock Harbour was at this time much smaller than today. It was founded to haul goods across the neck from Anchorage but wild Jennites had made this business dangerous and expensive. Jamuga Khan and the Esterhold horde changed this. They did not want to became part of the Empire after been thrown out of Bellissaria, but to live a free and independent life. Jamuga and Courrie negotiated with some Jennite tribes and fought other.
They had a great advantage as many of them were spellcaster and they combined the best of both worlds - the customs of civilised Alphatians and wild Ethengarians. So the "wild" Jennite tribes had to learn that it was good to come to an agreement with these "wild" Alphatians as the kept always their treaties, but that they were enemies better not to be made. So over the next years the Esterhold horde grow rapidly. According to Ethengarian customs defeated enemies were integrated into the horde and in AY 2000 nearly all the plains and deserts belonged to the horde. Only in the mountainous, hilly, rugged or wooded regions still lived Jennite tribes unaffected by the immigrants. The kings of Esterhold were wary about this possible new threat but they simply had not the forces to do anything. Besides their information about the horde were only rudimentary.
Unfortunately in AY 1970 an dramatic event occurred. Courrie, never too happy to leave their children behind in Bellissaria, decided to seek a divorce. This resulted in a split between the followers of Jamuga Khan and Courrie Khan. The marriage of the both were not too close since they left Bellissaria, and Courrie had settled the rock deserts of Esterhold while Jamuga Khan preferred the badlands and grasslands. A bloody civil war between both parts of the horde began which cost the lives of many Jennites who were neutral or favoured one side. Neither Jamuga nor Corrie had intended that but it occurred like always during wars.
Jamuga Khan could not understand the behaviour of his former wife and her horde and developed a theory that deserts had fatal effects on clerics in becoming fanatics. After five years of war Actun-Tai persuaded her father to give her the horde, and the war cooled down. Jamuga Khan left Esterhold and returned to the mainland of Alphatia where he met his old fellow student, my father. My father had just become a member of the Grand Council, and he convinced Jamuga Khan to intensify his magical studies to qualify as a candidate for the Grand Council too. AY 1980 Jamuga Khan became MGC for himself and the next four years he became an active part of Alphatian policy.
In AY 1984 Jamuga Khan became bored about the politic, and he left Alphatia and headed to Skothar. He did not visit his old horde, but sailed to Faraway and travelled farther into the inland to examine the truth about the mysterious "Empire of the Great Khan". In this point my information became a little vaguely, but I believe that he committed a little time travelling and finally became the Great Khan for himself although I do not believe that this really means that he rules or ever ruled the steppes of Jen.
At least in AY 2010 he returned to the Esterhold hordes and reconciled with his ex-wife. Actun-Tai who actually ruled her part of the horde had never taken over the title as a khan but instead she bore the seldom used title Shal-Khan. As far as I know this means something like "viceroy" or "the khan in the shadow". In the following years Jamuga Khan left Esterhold only for some rare occasions. Rumours says that he was involved in the revolts against the kings of Esterhold, and that he is a prominent leader of the movement against slavery. At least the latter is probably true as the horde never has kept slaves, a custom which never was too popular in the empire with the exceptions of the mainland and Esterhold.
In the case of President Vern's plans to reform Esterhold into a democratic republic I can only suspect what Jamuga Khan's opinion would be as the horde is definitely not a democratic organisation.
The Hordes and their Leaders today
You, my attentive reader, might have noticed that we have now three hordes today which are all founded by Jamuga Khan and his family. This is absolutely true. Two of them are more or less copies of the Ethengars, while the third is a mixture of the Makistani and the Abbashani. I will now tell you some details about all of them. But do not be confused: They are all Alphatians, only that they have decided to live the lives of nomads.
The Dawnrim Horde: Led by Dasadas Khan and Ari-Ki Orkhan, the oldest children of Jamuga Khan, it populates the plains of Dawnrim and Lagrius although some members travel throughout Bellissaria to sell their cattle in the cities of the island. It has a population of 16000 now. The first NACE census counts 13000 to Dawnrim which makes it the majority of this sparsely populated kingdom. The horde is still laughing about this as they travel everywhere according to their wishes. They do not feel themselves as citizens of Lagrius or Dawnrim but as members of the horde. Some are thinking about making Dasadas the next king of Dawnrim, but so far he is not interested in ruling the kingdom. Should the king or the Council of the NACE decide to develop Dawnrim by converting plains into farmland or by building new cities this will probably change. The horde likes Dawnrim in exactly this state. The equipment and behaviour is so close to the Ethengars that only an Ethengarian could tell the difference. The most obvious is that they wear their hears like Alphatian adventurers and not like the riders from Brun.
Important figures: Dasadas Khan, leader of the horde, a capable magic-user, and his sister Ari-Ki Orkhan, general and war-leader of the second mingam (1000 riders). Ari-Ki has started as a cleric like her mother, but is now a druid. The druids all over Mystara are still puzzling about a plain-loving and riding druid, but there she is.
The Platinum Horde: Led by Jamuga Khan and his younger daughter Actun-Tai Shal-Khan, this horde lives on the steppes and badlands between Blackrock, Anchorage, Verdan and Rock Harbour. As the Platinum horde has integrated many Jennites, the clans have adopted some Jennite customs, some more than other. As there were many losses under the Jennite population during the horde's civil war the surviving independent tribes are wary about the horde. On the other hand there are not to much left as most are living in the hills and mountains now. The Platinum horde has 50000 members now.
Important figures: Jamuga Khan, the founder of the Alphatian hordes and inactive member of the Great Council, a formidable wizard, his daughter Actun-Tai, like her mother a cleric, and the most trusted adviser Ethenor, a commoner who started his career as a simple bratak before becoming number three in his horde.
The Caliphate of the Desert Storm: The last horde is the most unusual of the three as Courrie, the caliph of the horde, had introduced many own ideas. Her title means "Defender of the Faith", and she means it exactly that way. During the 300-year-war against Thyatis in Ylaruam many Alphatians settled in this country. As is it inevitable the settlers had taken over some customs of the natives even if most settlements were in the green coastal area. Among the settlers were the ancestors of Courrie, and when they returned into the Empire after the war they brought this customs with them. During her life with the horde her husband were building up she sought and founded some own followers and taught them the inherited customs. After the settlement of the Esterhold Peninsula she used the opportunity and relocated her followers to the rocky desert. The Ylari customs and her abilities as a cleric helped to survive the desert. As an example shall be told that they wear burnouses for protection against hot days, cold nights and dangerous dust storms.
Nowadays the caliphate has 35000 members. The relationship to the Platinum Horde is good as they are a great (and more or less happy) family again. The Jennites from the surrounding hills and mountains are bitter enemies though as the wounds cause in the civil war are far from forgotten. Besides, most Desert Stormers are fanatics to a certain degree, and determined to missionise all unbelievers, an attitude not appropriate to make many friends. Needless to say that a high percentage of the caliphate are clerics. (Hm, probably Jamuga Khan's theory about clerics in the deserts should be reconsidered. Note by Ebenezum)
Important figures: Caliph Courrie, leader and High Priestess of the caliphate, Faris Kassar, her youngest son, and Khabul, the High Inquisitor. Kassar, born after the settlement in Esterhold, were a abode of worries for Courrie, as he started as a simple warrior, until last year when he achieved the status as an avenger and became able to cast clerical spells. Khabul is a perhaps the greatest fanatic of the caliphate, even if he is a wizard. He is devoted to Courrie and is still hoping to marry her some day. He will do nearly everything to fulfil her aims and wishes.