The Imperial March of Dakar’Shaw
- Structure and Government
- Important People
Part 1: The Khaganate Civil War
After the conquest of the nearby empires and the subjugation of the former Kingdom of Aldrain, Emperor Xial turned his gaze south. The Golden Khanate, great horsemen and raiders of the plains and deserts of the continent of Shaw’ia, was collapsing. The death of the previous Khagan Ganbaatar the Radiant lead to a power struggle among his many sons, most prominent of those the eldest sons of his three most beloved wives: Ganzorig, Altansarnai and Enkhjargal.
Brutal raids and vicious skirmishes had torn apart the Khaganate for a decade. Upon entering the Continent, the vanguard of Imperial forces - many of them battle-hardened veterans of the conquests of Twangste and Aldrain - found a people divided to the bone. Acting swiftly, the Emperor’s field commander, General Ellanher, sought an alliance with Altansarnai. With the swift Khaganate cavalry augmenting the strong heavy knights and infantry of the Imperial Army, Ellanher won a string of decisive victories against the troops of the other pretenders. Seeing no alternative, Ganzorig and Enkhjargal made a truce and common cause against the armies of Altansarnai and Ellanher.
The final battle, at the gates of the Khaganate capital of Bat-Erdene, lasted four days. At the end, Ganzorig, Enkhjargal and General Ellanher were dead, and Altansarnai was anointed Khagan of the Golden Desert in a great victory feast. Upon his ascension, he assumed the moniker ‘the Golden’. Shortly after his coronation, the Shaw’ians turned on the Imperial soldiers, killing many and driving the rest back to the coast.
Part 2: Imperial Invasion
Outraged at this betrayal, and hiding the fact that he had himself been biding his time, Emperor Xial II himself took to the battlefield. A year later, his fleet darkened the seas and his armies shook the land, in a great campaign known as the First Red Crusade.
Altansarnai, in the meantime, had not been idle. He sought friendship and alliances with other nearby rulers in the Sultanate and Caliphate to his south. Now, having received word of the Imperial onslaught, he called upon his allies and marched his own forces to meet the Imperial Army at the Battle of the Rivers in the depth of the northern Shaw’ian desert.
The battle was a very near thing. Upon meeting the Imperial battle lines, the allied armies of Altansarnai curved inwards, drawing the imperial troops into a pincer and pinning them on both flanks. It was only the intervention of the Lifeguard, taking the field entirely for the only time in history so far, that defeat was avoided. The Lifeguard punched a bloody hole through the enemy’s centre, after which the Imperial Army was able to pin down and defeat both wings of the Shaw’ian pincer in turn. The death toll was humongous, but such is the cost of war.
After the Imperial victory, the Emperor dictated harsh peace terms. A vast swathe of land along the northern coast, and much of the inland desert, was to be given up. It is this land that would form the March.
Part 3: Further history
Over the decades, due to neglect by various Imperial governors who saw the province mostly as a way to get rich and gather power in the Imperial Court, the March fell into decay and depopulation. The annexed city of Bat-Erdene was slowly abandoned by most, except for the segment of population that maintained the Imperial garrison. In 1324, newly appointed Lord Angaldis Malgedein was named Margrave of Dakar’Shaw, or Red Shaw. Angaldis, a capable and ambitious ruler, has great plans with the March - resettling it, reviving its economy, and eventually building up a power base to rival that of the other great Imperial lords of Ayrith and Aldrain.
The March is ruled from the city of Bat-Erdene, meaning ‘strong jewel’ in the native language of the region. Administratively, the government of the March has recently been reorganized along the most modern scientific methods known to Imperial scholars. The government is divided into five main branches, each employing a number of scribes and bureaucrats at the large Palace of Government in Bat-Erdene. The five branches are each known as ‘Cantrons’, and are the following:
- The Canton of Economic Affairs and Local Development, overseeing businesses and development projects in the towns of the March.
- The Canton of Taxation, Trade and Finances, overseeing the Imperial mint in Bat-Erdene, trade policy towards other nations and parts of the empire, and the collection of taxes. This Canton also maintains the population census, used for collecting taxes and drafting men for militia service.
- The Canton of Justice and Inquisition, dealing with implementation and enforcement of Imperial and Margraviate law across the territory
- The Canton of General Affairs, dealing with situations that fall outside the authority of any one Canton or require the cooperation of several. Also maintains communications with the Imperial government.
- And lastly and most importantly the Canton of War and Defence, overseeing the military of the March, communications with Imperial forces, procurement of weapons and other equipment, and the draft of able-bodied men for their quarterly service.
Lord Malgedein heads a council of nobles responsible for the government of the region. The Council of Bat-Erdene includes Lord Malgedein and the heads of the various Cantons.
- Lord Angaldis, Margrave of Dakar’Shaw and Lord of Bat-Erdene. Also heads the Canton of General Affairs.
- Lord Daumantus of the Cantonate of Economic Affairs and Local Development
- Lord Mordræd of the Cantonate of Law and Inquisition
- Lord Jurgen of the Cantonate of Taxation, Trade and Finance
- Lord General Austingaldis, commander of the Imperial forces in the March and chairman of the Cantonate of War and Defence.
The March is divided into a number of administrative districts, with each having a local government centre containing representatives, bureaucrats and scribes of the five Cantons. This extensive government apparatus is financed, mostly, by a particular form of protection racket. Simply put, the more taxes a district pays, the more military assets are assigned to its defence. The income from this system is used to fund the government as well as development projects mainly centered on the poorer districts. In this way, Lord Angaldis intends to slowly build up an economic, tax and military base.
Does not diverge significantly from the Imperial relations with other realms. Refer to the Ebongrasp page for information.
Lord Angaldis Malgedein, Margrave of Dakar’Shaw and Lord of Bat-Erdene.
Imperial military presence in Dakar’Shaw consists of three main elements. The first is an Imperial detachment of soldiers permanently stationed in the province as a defence against raids and attacks from the south. This detachment is roughly 1000 men strong, quartered in fortresses and barracks across the region, and led by Lord General Austingaldis. In terms of equipment, these forces follow the standard layout of an Ebongrasp militia regiment. While this detachment is a strong defence against foreigners, it does not answer to the House of Malgedein, though the Lord General is expected to consult with the Margrave on military matters as a matter of courtesy. For this reason, Lord Angaldis cannot count on them for expanding his power base.
The second part is the regional military levy. All men between the ages of 15 and 40 are required by law to serve one quarter a year training and patrolling the roads of the province. The Canton of Taxation, Trade and Finances maintains detailed population records to make this possible. It is not possible for women to serve in the militia, though in times of invasion they might take up weapons along with the men. The current total regional levy of the region consists of 450 men, one quarter of whom being under arms at any time and the others being capable of going to war within a week’s time.
Capitalizing on the skill of native blacksmiths in the region, Angaldis has embarked on a project to vastly increase the number of weapons available. These militia troops are equipped mostly with heavy lamellar armour, protecting the chest, upper legs and upper arms. Arm and leg braces protect the lower limbs, with joints being mostly uncovered for greater ease of movement. A steel helmet covers the head, with officers being issued plumed helmets. In terms of armaments, the militia favour the usual swords, warhammers for the added punch against heavily armoured foes, or heavy crossbows. This image gives an idea of a militiaman’s armaments: https://www.deviantart.com/art/Imperial-Numenorean-Armour-601351169
For cavalry forces, the province recruits from among the desert tribes that once fought for the Khanate. These horsemen are usually lightly equipped with leather, lamellar, and spears or bows. They function as scouts and raiders, harassing enemy supply lines. Some of the tribal nobles can afford to equip themselves as heavy cavalry, but these are few in number and lack the heavy equipment of mainland Ebongrasp knights. As a broad rule, the urban and town citizens provide infantry militias while the tribes and nomads provide cavalry. Currently, were all militiamen to be called up at the same time, they would number some 600 - 350 infantry, 200 light cavalry, 50 heavy cavalry. However, due to economic concerns the usual force the Province can bring to bear is around two thirds of that number.
The last part are the household guards of the House of Malgedein. These are professional soldiers and retainers, usually under arms at the House Palace in the city of Bat-Erdene. Currently, due to the very limited power of the House and poor state of the Province in general, the household guard has 12 soldiers. Due to the small number of these forces, the Province can afford to equip them quite lavishly with halberds and heavy steel harnesses.
Overall, the main advantage of the army is in its flexibity. The large proportion of light cavalry, combined with the militia infantry working as a stable base on the battlefield, allows the army to respond to or capitalize on situations as it develops, as well as engage in irregular warfare. Its main disadvantage are small numbers and a limited ability to deliver the sheer shock attacks to the enemy Ebongrasp or Kleriel can.