Friday, December 12, 2014

Cadavera Vero Innumera I

Stained by a thousand ages of barbaric warfare, the lands of the Onon river were swallowed in gigantic fissures with the great fires incinerating the Mongolian lands.. When everything seemed in turmoil, a blue wolf took as his spouse a fallow doe. They settled at the head of the onon river to raise their offspring and there were born the mongols.
Griswold stood baffled over the quietness sheltering the air facing Temulun to regard him, the composer of this epic. Temulun has been selected to compose this epic because great events are about to take place. The mongols are going to leave Mongolia................
“The Mongols have always dwelled on this frigid, dry and endless steppe. The tribes here squabble like vultures fighting over a desiccated corpse of a marmot. The Mongols fight over limited resources, scarce water, few trees and sparse grass for their herds to graze on. A wise and dangerous man named Euluk means to change all this . He says that if the tribal conflict is to end, the mongols require but two things. First, they need green pastures for our herds, with more to go around, there will be less competition among the tribes.
       Second, we are a nation of warriors and we need a common enemy with whom to engage in battle. to meet both these needs, Euluk had come up with the modest of schemes; to unite the tribes and go to war with anyone who opposes our path.
"How?", they ask him. 'How can nomadic horsemen in felt tents embark on a campaign of world conquest?"
Euluk replies that we shall fight not as warriors, but as a unified army. We fight not for our glory, but the glory of Mongolia and with those words the name Euluk has nearly passed into obscurity. his name is replaced with a worthy title: great khan. Balthazar Khan.
The Mongols rode out from their wilderness sometime in the 1100's, eager to feast on the Chinese, Persian and the Roman Empire weak from internal corruption and the expansion of other barbarian tribes. it was the Mongols, who drove many of these other barbarians before them. They were terrifying warriors from the steppes of asia, their body disfigured from ritual scarring, their legs deformed from a near lifetime in the saddle. Despite their fearsome aspect the Mongols might have been little more than raiders had it not been for the leadership of Balthazar. he called himself the 'scourge of god'. Balthazar and his brother Arslan led the mongols not just to raid but to devastate Scythia, china and Persia.”

...griswold knew there had been a battle here decades ago. Peasants still overturn skeletons and broken shields with their ploughs from time to time.
 Griswold asked temulun more about this legendary Balthazar khan the mongol whom the chronicles and tales treat more of a monster than a man. 'He was a man', the priest said. But neither did he look like an Asian nor did he worship the Asian god and that was the course of all that was to follow. Father Temulun shivered from the cold breeze that blew in from the tent's gate.....

“Kingship among the mongols was decided not by divine right or lineage but by who had the strongest of wills. Balthazar was the strongest of the mongols and he reinforced his position by brandishing a rusty old blade proclaiming it to be the sword of mars, the ancient roman god of war. Balthazar had a habit of fiercely rolling his eyes as if he wished to enjoy the terror which he inspired.
Nearly all the tribes had by then united under the great Balthazar Khan. The chieftains of those tribes reluctant to join forces were boiled alive. Each day new faces had taken up the bow. Unfamiliar hands hold the nine bands of yak hair that had become Balthazar’s standard. There were more men and horses gathered in the camp than I ever knew existed. Horse archers and lancers, men in leather cuirass and silk armor, all lifted their heads upwards to the platform from where Balthazar spoke. The men grin like hungry wolves. It was dawn of the first day of the Mongolian empire.. He had a power over other men so that many chose to join him, the tartars, the Uighurs and the Celts. Most notable among these was the son of a prominent Persian family sent as a hostage to ensure peace between Persia and Mongolia. The name of this boy was Gustav Jelme, a name not soon to be forgotten. Winter had come to the steppes. The earth had frozen as hard as bones. The only movement was the steam rising from the nostrils of men and horses. Only the promise of battle brings warmth”.

Now that the memories had stirred, father temulun seemed eager to narrate the tale. He explained how the Mongols unlike the other barbarians had a style of warfare dramatically different from the ancient Asians.
The Mongols charged as one group often firing arrows as they came and then suddenly retreat again. For the other nations of Asia, who were used to forming up lines and columns and even issuing challenges for personal combat, this was an aberration. They were incapable of comprehending warfare in this manner. Barbarians did not conquer lands. They did not hold and try and colonize the cities they attacked. Instead they ravaged and pillaged and took all their loot back to their camps. By that time there were two Asian empires namely china and Persia. Balthazar began a series of raids into the Chinese empire. But with success comes enemies, a man named Bahadur has challenged Balthazar’s right to rule. He sows discord among the kharakhitai tribe and means to have himself proclaimed as a rival ‘Khan’.
Balthazar cannot allow these transgressions to go unpunished. He needs to set an example. So we ride westwards to find and slay him. If the kharakhitai shelter him then their lives are forfeit as well. Balthazar knows there are weapons aside from swords and bow. He is a grandmaster of mental warfare. Just as he had made an example of Bahadur, he made examples of other foes as well. When first they encounter a new adversary, the great khan spares none, they ride to the closest town, slay every living thing, burn down the village, sow the fields with salt and raise a mountain of enemy skulls and after that the other nearby towns were quick to send forth their emissaries eager to placate the ravenous mongol hordes. With it, the entire Mongolia was in the grasp of Balthazar khan.
Persia was the sensible next choice of battle since it separated us from the rich forage pastures of Europe but first Balthazar khan had another score to settle. After witnessing the power of our heavy cavalry in action, the Chinese spoke of nothing but peace. They even promised a support for our campaign westwards but now that we had deviated their attention from china, they decided not to deliver the men-at-arms they had promised Balthazar. It is time for another demonstration. Persia can wait while the Mongols wheel east once more into china, the largest and the most advanced empire in the world.

It was a glorious slaughter. The ancient city of Cheng was erased from the earth. The Mongols so devastated that place that when the Persian ambassadors who passed through to meet Balthazar, they had to camp outside on the river banks. The river banks were covered with human bones and the stench of death was so high that no one could enter the city. For years, visitors to china will be astounded by the mountain of human and horse skeletons that we had erected. The horde’s had gained one vital advantage by this invasion of china: technology. They possessed the knowledge and inventories to allow us to make siege weapons. Having obtained the essentials, they were to crack open the Persian and the European castles to reach the softer parts within. Several other Asian and European nations would soon suffer the same fate.
     Balthazar was pleased with the progress and the legacy he left behind. His mother once ate wild onions and rodents to keep from starving but the children and the grandchildren of Balthazar will eat off plates of Persian gold.
Meanwhile, the Persian ambassadors sent to Balthazar concealed an assassination attempt on him. Somehow, Balthazar knew the attempt on his life and sent the petrified assassin back to his emperor with the gold he had been paid to do the deed tied in a sack to his neck. Balthazar was infuriated with the Persian emperor Khwarazam Shah. The Persian emperor will had been given one chance to surrender to the Mongols and then his cities will be pulled down and annihilated brick by brick. But not all head to Persia, Balthazar sent subotai to Russia where principalities were disorganized. Subotai plotted to disintegrate them one by one thus covering the borders of Asia with his Mongolian empire.

none knew what lay within the cold earth.........

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