Unification of the Saigar ClansEdit
In the year 28 H.D. a boy was born to the Saigar clan of the Gemichuds and he was named Gan, after his father who was slain in battle a few months prior to his birth. The name meant, “Spirited” or “Wild”, and it seemed to fit.
In those days the Saigars were a loose group of nomadic plains clans who shared a common language and culture, but warred often with one and other, and with the neighboring Burchids and Arkhans to the north and east.
Their homeland was the farthest reaches of the plains between the southern coast of Atvas and where the At-Burshal mountain range ends, a cold and often desolate place. The ancient Saigars survived primarily by hunting, fishing, and herding, though raiding the camps of their enemies helped supplement this as well.
Thanks to his great focus, self-discipline, charisma, intellect, and martial prowess, by the age of 22, Gan (now Gan Uyr, “Spirited Wise Man”) became the leader of the Gemichuds and took Danshe of the Tagai as his wife, uniting the two clans.
Over the next several years, Gan Uyr set about uniting all the Saigar clans, either through diplomacy or force. Finally in 1 D.H.K. he was proclaimed Hadis-Khuvan, Golden Emperor, of all the Saigars, but he had only just begun.
Conquest of the PlainsEdit
With a force of over a million warriors he quickly conquered the Burchids, Arkhans, and Hotats. Surprisingly, however, he did not simply crush them outright, but instead granted them much leniency, freedom, and rights under his rule, along with the protection of his army, so long as they paid tribute and were loyal to him.
First Encounters With the Civilized WorldEdit
Once his wars with the other plains peoples were won, Gan Uyr turned his attention to the north, where the great where the great Tairese civilization of the Safik, a forest people, lay. Instead of attacking it head on, however, he first set about conquering the neighboring civilization of Zagari, to the west of the Safik.
This proved to be most fortuitous as from the Zagari, a people more technologically advanced than any of the plains people, who had spent centuries warring with their Tairese neighbors, Gan Uyr learned of siege engines and the tactics and techniques needed to capture a great fortified city, something he had never encountered before on the plains.
Greatly insightful, Gan Uyr then proceeded to assemble what can only be described as an engineering corps from his Saigar forces and had them trained by the best engineers and craftsmen of the Zagari.
By now, Gan Uyr’s army consisted of Saigars, Burchids, Arkhans, Hotats, and Zagari and numbered near two million, but he was about to face the greatest military and strategic challenges of his life.
Conquering the plains had been easy, as Gan Uyr had plenty of insight in to how the plains people fought and had lived that life since he was born, but now that all the plains belonged to him, he would be forced to venture in to the great forests and would face a far more advanced civilization that was all but unknown to him and that was just as large as his empire.
In 11 D.H.K. Gan Uyr began his campaign against the Safik Dynasty. The details of this campaign would take many volumes to recount, but through ingenious, clever, and often devious military strategy, Gan Uyr finally conquered all the Safik lands in 24 D.H.K.
An old man now, Gan Uyr returned to the Saigar plains where he had grown up and built himself a small capitol. In reality, it was more or less just a semi-permanent encampment in classic nomad style, but it did have a handful of permanent structures used as store houses for the great wealth he had acquired.
Too old to continue campaigning, but determined to keep the influx of goods that war had brought his people coming, Gan Uyr sent his army, under command of his most trusted generals, across the Haldav’n River (“Holy” River) into the territory of the Doan Tairese and their Dynasty, a much larger and more powerful empire than that of the Safik.
Meanwhile, Gan Uyr set about the process of building the framework by which is vast empire would be governed, creating laws, councils, customs, and appointing various and sundry officials.
In 26 D.H.K. however, the Hotats, one of the empire’s oldest vassals, started a bloody rebellion, forcing a large section of the army to withdraw to settle things in the Hotat lands. Things had been slow and unpromising in the Doan Campaign so far, and this ended up destroying any momentum the army had.
Sundering of the EmpireEdit
Gan Uyr, the Hadis-Khuvan, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you see it), would not see his campaign fail, as in 32 D.H.K. he died of disease at the age of 60. Gan Uyr had left instructions that his eldest son, Bas Huzal should succeed him as Khuvan of the Saigar Empire, but four of his six other sons did not agree, and each proclaimed themselves to be the Khuvan.
Each son, owning much territory, had a large power base and did not pay fealty to Huzal. Thus, within a year of the Hadis-Khuvan’s death, the empire was split into five sections. It should have fallen to Huzal to force his brothers in to submission, but he had never had the stomach for war and instead tried various diplomatic, political, and mercantile approaches.
Meanwhile, Huzal began to build a proper capitol full of wealth and opulence for himself in his Saigar lands, which became the city of Ul-Kad’kh (“Gray Cliffs”, named for the large stone walls surrounding it) and the Twil-Harag (“Shining Palace”).
Huzal, unfortunately, was very taken with the idea of comfort, wealth, and high society, and over the course of his reign used up almost all the wealth his father had built up over the years. Huzal also neither continued the campaign against the Doan, nor managed to re-unite any of the empire.
After only eight years on the throne at Ul-Kad’kh, Khuvan Bas Huzal died of heart failure. In his place, one of his two loyal brothers, Mar Ganakul, ascended to the throne. For eight years, Ganakul had watched his brother ruin or destroy everything their father had work so hard to build, and only loyalty to his father’s decision that Huzal should rule kept him loyal to Huzal.
Ganakul was not like Huzal, however, and was truly his father’s son. No sooner had he been named Khuvan than he set about assembling a great army to force his renegade family members into submission.
Seeing that he could not hold out against Ganakul, Khoch immediately surrendered and joined Ganakul. The two brothers then began to wage a bloody war against Brodash, Maranakh, and Degur. During this campaign, in an especially bloody battle, Ganakul, Khoch and Degur were all slain.
Rise of the Two KhuvansEdit
In the power vacuum created by this catastrophe, the remaining heirs of Gan Uyr began to posture and position. Promises of power were made, oaths were taken, and by the end of it, in 42 D.H.K., Brodash and Degur’s only son Khula both proclaimed themselves Khuvan.
Brodash’s power base was in the south on the plains, while Khula’s was to the north, mostly in former Safik territory. The two eventually reached an accord that neither would claim to be Khuvan of all the Saigar Empire, but that they should split it in two.
The territory controlled by Brodash became known as the Bar-Saigar Khuvanate (“Black Saigar Empire”) and Khula’s lands became known as the Uyla-Saigar Khuvanate (“Blue Saigar Empire”). Unfortunately, Brodash was facing much difficulty at home.
The problems stemming from Huzal’s reign still remained in the south, and Brodash found his realm impoverished, stricken with ridiculous laws and policies, and embroiled in civil turmoil. Meanwhile, though the Uyla-Saigar Khuvanate was much smaller than that of the Bar-Saigar, Khula still had much of the infrastructure of the Safik Dynasty at his disposal.
By now, most of the Hadis-Gamar (“Golden Family”), the relatives and descendants of the Hadis-Khuvan, supported Brodash as he held closely to the ancient Saigar lifestyle while Khula, though born to it, had taken more to scholarly pursuits and a civilized lifestyle like that of the Safik, which made them distrust him.
Khula, however, had an amazing intellect, wisdom beyond his years, and the same drive and focus that had served his grandfather so well. In addition, Khula was very well educated and possessed many skills.
While Brodash sought to solve the problems caused during Huzal’s reign and pay Huzal’s debts, all while keeping the Bar-Saigar Khuvanate together, Khula was able to set his eyes in a larger prize. The Tairese Dynasty of the Doan, all along the Uyla-Saigar Khuvanate’s borders, still presented a seductive target.
Amazingly, Khula chose not to attack or invade, possibly due to his relatively small force and as even with several millions his grandfather’s generals had not succeeded. Instead, he chose a more diplomatic, mercantile, and political approach.
Despite the fact that such tactics had greatly failed his uncle Huzal, Khula set his mind to the task, and immediately began proving that he was no Huzal. In fact, he became known among some of the people as the “Gan Uyr of the Quill”.
Again, the details of Khula’s “campaign of the mind, the heart, and the spirit” as he called it would take many volumes to record, but by stunningly well coordinated, planned, and designed uses of propaganda, public opinion, and the societal infrastructure already in place from the Safik Dynasty, Khula began to convince the Tairese that he was, in essence, the epitome of all Tairese culture and society, despite the fact that he had been born on the plains to the south and was the grandson of a great barbarian warlord.
By presenting his empire, now also called the Khulai Dynasty by the Tairese, as more promising, welcoming, tolerant, and in every way better to that of the Doan Dynasty, he quickly began amassing support in Doan Territory.
Lavish gifts, manipulation of mercantile and political systems, and other such tactics began to not just gain him support, but the loyalty of towns, cities, and even whole territories, as one by one they deserted their old fashioned and tyrannical Doan rulers and joined Khula.
Over fifteen years, Khula managed to claim almost all of the Doan Dynasty’s territory for his own, until finally he gathered a massive force and sacked the Doan Capitol of Besaz, officially conquering all of the Dynasty’s former lands.
By now, Khula had amassed great wealth, prestige, and popular support, but had managed to retain Saigar power. All his high ranking officials, ministers, and trusted servants were Saigars, and yet the people loved him as a Tairese emperor.
With his mission finally accomplished, Khula carefully chose a spot just south of the Dokh’n River (“White River”), a tributary of the Haldav’n River and began to build his great capitol, which he called Dar-Khitagrom (“Great Trade City”).
This, he built and designed using a carefully selected mix of Tairese, Saigar, Oncan, and Zagari architectural styles, and in the center he built the Un-Khuvan Harag (“Glorious Emperor Palace”), which itself was surrounded by great walls and was in truth like a smaller city within Dar-Khitagrom, and so became also known as Khuvangrom (“Emperor City”).
Meanwhile, the Bar-Saigars were fighting a brutal civil war, Brodash’s daughter Ilsha fighting against Maranakh’s son Valnish for the title of Khuvan. Seeing an opportunity, Khula contacted both of them and offered them great wealth and power and all the boons of his empire if they ceased their fighting and swore fealty to him.
The Empire RebuiltEdit
After many lavish gifts and displays of his power, Khula convinced both of them and thus finally united the Saigar Empire. He was proclaimed by the Hadis-Gamar as a Hadis-Khuvan, the first to bear the title since Gan Uyr. This was in 57 D.H.K.
In 68 D.H.K., Hadis Khuvan Khula died of unknown causes at the age of 53 and was succeeded as Khuvan by his eldest son Burhan. Over the course of his reign, Burhan finalized, expanded upon, improved, and reformed much of what his father had begun, undertaking great projects, installing several revolutionary systems, codifying laws and ideas, and above all else encouraging and increasing trade throughout the empire.
In addition, using many of the same tactics that Khula had used to conquer the Doan Dynasty, Burhan managed to conquer the civilizations of the Ushalese, Oncans, and Muriags to the north. Though these areas were small, they offered great natural and cultural resources, and upon conquering the Muriags, Burhan found that he had managed to unite every people on the continent of Atvas beneath the banner of the Saigar Khuvanate.
When Burhan died in 98 D.H.K., he was posthumously granted the title of Hadis-Khuvan by his daughter Vuishar who succeeded him as Khuvan. However, the culture now easily identified as “Saigaran” was still incubating, and was to emerge over time in the intervening 665 years.