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Sind Historyby Greg Weatherup
I was without Internet over the holidays, and when I came back I was shocked with how many new posts there were. With my limited net time I've been struggling since January to catch back up but everyone's posting rate of such great material has been unbelievable. At one point I was barely keeping up with the second page of Mystara content! I'm caught up finally, and I've got a bunch of draft posts saved to reply to old messages so you'll notice a flurry of posts from me over the next few days as I post everything that I've wanted to post for the last 2+ months.
While working on some of the events from Darokinian history, I realised that I needed to get a grasp on Sindhi history as well, in order to (hopefully) integrate it. While working on that I think I have identified a problem of cannon conflicting itself. I think I've worked out a compromise though.
Problem: the Thaman family is said to have ruled Shajarkand for nearly a millennium, but in the last century have been replaced by the Venkats. However, the settlements of Shajarkand were conquered by Sindrastan in 695 and incorporated into what eventually became united Sind. 300 some odd years is not "nearly a millennium". Possible two-part solution:
1st, I would presume that they (the Thaman family) came to power in the southern regions formerly controlled by the Rastrapalas (modern Shajarkand) after the post 186 break-up of the Pratikutas controlled southern Sind empire (thus, "nearly a millennium"). 2nd: Perhaps what instigated Narenda ul Nervi's southward excursion (after all, a north-east or north-west first approach would have been easier to unify Sind as it existed at the time*) was a succession dispute within the Thaman family with one heir submitting to Narenda for help. The other Thaman heir appeals to the Madhar's of Jalawar & the unnamed shape shifting ruling family of Jhengal, both of whom were eager for leverage over (or at least a secure, friendly border so as to focus on) the Ashupta's of Putnabad on their southern borders. Thus war pits Sindrastan against Jalawar & Jhengal with Shajarkand as the first battleground. I would even have the Thaman and ul-Nervi families be the two main successors of the Rastrapalas.
*= Sind in 692, I believe, can be roughly divided into 4 macro-regions:
1) The Rastrapala descended states in the centre- Shajarkand and Sayr Ulan being the strongest with Baratkand the weakest.
2) The former Mahavaram lands to the north-east of Sayr Ulan which had been weakened a century ago by the Darokinian conquest and then further by the power vacuum from the contraction from the region and break-up of the Darokinian kingdom.
3) The fairly strong state lets of the south. &
4) Upper Sind (Kadesh & Peshmir)
Thus Baratakand (weak & w/similar cultural history) to the north-west, or Nagpuri (very weak) to the north-east, would have been a weaker and thus easier first conquest for Narenda's quest to unify Sind.
Back to the war- Narenda came to power in 692. I would have 695 be when Naral falls, with Gom & Karganj being captured in previous years (say both in 694, or in 693 & 694) since it is mentioned as 'slow process of unification'. Sindrastan wins and pushes the conflict into Jalawar & Jhengal proper in late 695/early 696. Sandapur (Eastern Jhengal capital) falls quickly bit Pramayana (A northern border village of Jalawar) holds.
The Jhengali ruling family is revealed as shape shifters sometime late 697/early 698, and Jalawar agrees to a status quo truce with Sindrastan (with Sindrastan continuing to hold Pramayana) rather than be associated with the Jhengali shape shifters.
The rest of Jhengal falls quickly to Sindrastan forces in 698-699 when much of its populace and forces rise up against the shape shifters. Sindrastani forces/effort helped by the Jadugerya's (mages) of Jaibul (a later round of the Dark Inquisition?).
Period of peace from late 698 until late 702 or early 703 when Sindrastan turns on their cousins, the Radha's of Baratakand and attacks Baratpur from both Sindrastan and Jhengal. Baratakand's Rajah submits rather than fight on two fronts. Ul Nervi has no desire to depose his cousin, merely needing to make him a vassal, so he introduces a reform in the governmental system, combining Pratikuta, Alasiyan, and Darokinian ideals of government into a feudal system making Narenda the ____ (What would be the singular form of Rajadiraja? for king of a king? now that ul Nervi has a vassal king under him.)
As part of that reform (late 703/early 704) ul Nervi places the Nandins on the throne in Jhengal and recognises his Thaman heir as rajah of Shajarkand so that there is now 3 rajahs under the Rajadiraja (king of Kings, now plural). Note all the Rajahs under the Rajadiraja are cousin lineages.
The Ashupta rulers of Putnabad (likely the direct descendents of the Pratikutas) agree to ally to and submit to Sindrastan in 704, in return for autonomy and the status and the title of Maharajah (Great king) under the Rajadhiraja (King of Kings). Thus the Rajadhiraja now has 3 cousin lineage rajahs and one non-cousin Maharajah, under him.
The Madhar's of Jalawar (who broke away from Pratikuta control in the post 186 break up of the Pratikuta empire), seeing they are surrounded (on the North in Shajarkand by the Sindrastani puppet Thaman ruler, on the North-west & West in Jhengal by the Sindrastani controlled Nandin ruler, and on the west and South-West by their traditional enemies who are now also Sindrastani vassals) also submit rather than fight on all fronts. Ul Nervi knows that unlike with the Ashupta's, the Madhar's don't have as much choice in the matter so they are not offered the loftier status and title of Maharajah, only Rajah. There's now 4 Rajah's and one Maharajah under the Rajadhiraja.
At the same time (late 704) ul Nervi signs agreement with the Jadugeryas recognising their help in taking Jhengal by agreeing to the autonomy of Jaibul, but many Jadugerya's (notably the Kalkiin progenitor and the Maruti ancestor) stay with Ul-Nervi and help in upcoming conquests. Ul Nervi turns north and easily submits Nagpuri's Rajah in 705.
Why was it so easy to submit Nagpuri? Because the "rajah" of Nagpuri was actually a break-away Darokinian state let with a Darokinian ruling the Sindhi's of Nagpuri. Anders I Ansimont, the Conqueror, had annexed the Mahavarmans lands (Nagpuri and Gunjab) in the mid/late 500s as part of the last resurgence of the Darokinian Kingdom, but Anders I's successors (the last break-up of the kingdom) saw the region break away with a Darokinian coming to rule in Nagpuri (perhaps a Ansimont claimant after the throne passed to the Attleson's?) and the Sur family (distantly related to the Mahavarmans) rising in the mountains of Gunjab. Ul Nervi establishes the Kalkiin family in Nagpuri (The Kalkiin's likely are, or claim or invent a, descent from the Mahavarmans).
The Sur's of Gunjab, who ally with the two ruling families of Upper Sind (the Rudraksha's of Kadesh and the Prabhapravithas of Peshmir) prove a tougher nut to crack. Bloody, drawn out, resource draining fighting with Sindrastani empire forces against the Gunjab/Kadesh/Peshmir alliance 706-712. Raneshwar falls in 712; the Surs flee across the mountains to Kadesh and/or wage guerrilla war in the Mountains. The Rudraksha's, seeing their main ally the Surs, now ineffective, and bearing the brunt of the fighting sues for peace in 713. In return for the title and status of Maharajah (like Putnabad), and the restoration of the Sur's in Gunjab (also at Maharajah status), the Rudraksha's agree to turn on their current ally, (and traditional enemy) the Prabhapravithas of Peshmir. Ul Nervi, knowing his forces are severely depleted, readily agrees, and the Sur's grudgingly agree. However, the Rajah of Kadesh doesn't quite get his wish as the next year (714), after little or even no fighting, Peshmir "sees the writing on the wall", so to speak, and Ul Nervi signs a treaty with Ravi Prabhapravitha of Peshmir giving the Prabhapravitha's the same status (Maharajah) as Kadesh. The Rudraksha's see this as a betrayal, but are to weakened to do anything about it (In the eyes of the Rudraksha's it's the first of many betrayals by the Ul Nervi's over the coming centuries).
Narenda dies in 735. He had watched the continuing break up in Darokin and had hoped to live long enough to recover his forces from the devastating 706-713 campaign in order to conquer some fertile Darokinian lands, but dies of old age before his forces can recover. His successors have less interest in expansion than he does.
So to summarise the Sindhi Himaya families:
Rastrapalas control a collection of desert oasis and the grasslands around Palkat (i.e. modern Baratapur, Sayr Ulan, and Gorm) and are expanding into the right bank of the upper Asanda river valley, while the Mahavarmans controlled the western watershed of Lake Amsorak and were fighting the orcs to the east. The Asanda river plain is the site of various independent cities, towns, and villages, the largest of which, Jahore, comes under the control of The Pratikutas. The Rastrapalas are at their peak, with the Mahavarmans rising.
The Pratikutas have quickly risen to prominence, spreading from Jahore, coming to rule the entire coastal region and the lower Asanda river valley (modern Putnabad, Jaibul, & Jalawar). The Rastrapalas have regular contact (and occasional conflict) with both the Mahavarmans and the Pratikutas.
Vijay Pratikuta takes Naral from the Rastrapalas and comes to control all the lands south and west of the Asanda river up to the Salt Swamp (Jaibul, Jhengal, Jalawar, Putnabad plus the town of Naral) while the Rastrapala's now control the grasslands of Shajarkand (basically all of modern Shajarkand minus Naral, plus modern Sindrastan & Baratkand).
AC 186 and immediate post 186 years
Vijay dies; Sarad Pratikuta looses most of the Pratikuta empire.
Pratikuta lands reduced to left bank of the lower Asanda river (Modern Putnabad & Jaibul). Rastrapala's regain Naral, but it's only a brief resurgence. Two new familiesí rise- the Madhar's on the right bank of the lower Asanda river (modern Jalawar) and another family, secretly shape shifters, in Jhengal.
Post 186 until 500's:
In the intervening centuries the Pratikutas and Rastrapala families break-up and other descendent families replace them. The Ashupta's are the main descendents of the briefly great Pratikutas, while other lines include possibly the Srinivasans and ____ (perhaps with the Madhar's and the unnamed shape shifting family of Jhengal later claiming descent as well). The once great Rastrapala's prove especially susceptible to fragmentation, giving rise to the Radha, Thaman, Loknath, Venkats, Nandin, and Ul-Nervi families.
Darokin, in a brief period of resurgence, conquer and destroy the Mahavarmans. The Sur family, a minor sub-branch of the Mahavarman family, emerges as a minor rebel group based in the remote mountains of Gunjab.
It's a lot, but how does that all sound?
But now the new big question: How do the families of Upper Sind relate? The Rudraksha's of Kadesh (in power since at least 691), and the Prabhapravithas (and their post 714 successors, the Valins). Are they related to one another? Are they related to any of the other great families (I would lean towards no).
What about any connections between Peshmir and Sablestone/Glantri, or between either Kadesh or Peshmir and say Gullavia or something? From what I understand, Sablestone is a frontier land with settlers only recently (c. AC 1000 - AC 1010 era) pushing westward. And I don't think there is any one agreed upon history about Adri Varma/Gullavia, correct?
One other question: Part of Sind was removed to the Hollow World at some point, thus Sind was suddenly depopulated. I know I saw somewhere what year that happened, but now I can't seem to find it anywhere. Depending on what year it was, this sudden depopulation could change any balances of power, perhaps provoking some of the above events. Was it sometime in the AC186-AC500s range?
I'll stop now, as I suspect that is more than enough for one post