Thai Empire

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Foundation: 1746-date
Capital: Angkor Wat in Khemer
Religion: Buddhist
Thai.gif

By Martin Helsdon

Description

An empire in south-east Asia arising from a rebellion in the Khemer Empire.

The History:

Still to be written.

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1745–1746 T208
Khemer Empire: All of these matters – though Moldoraja had thought them quite important before – soon paled into insignificance. In late summer of ’45, while walking in the palace gardens, listening to a priest recite from the ‘Sutra of Shariputra’s Repentance’ the Emperor was gravely stricken by two assassins who burst from the baobab trees and cut down two of his guards and nearly Moldoraja himself before they were, themselves slain.

“At six times every day - morning, midday, dusk, early night, midnight, and cockcrow - one should bathe oneself, rinse one's mouth, put on the clothes in the right manner, worship the ten directions with joined hands and repent one's evils done, saying, 'I have committed transgressions and evils since innumerable kalpas ago and also committed offenses of sexual intercourse, anger and stupidity in this life....’” the priest continued to recite as the mangled bodies were carried away for examination.

Moldoraja himself was badly hurt and quickly attended by many doctors. While he lay in his sick bed, the captain of his guardsmen brought him word – the assailants were Javan mercenaries lately seen loitering in the brothels and gambling dens of Angkor.

“Curse the shark-dogs!” The Emperor was quite upset. “They meddle in my realm now, as they did in China! I will not have it!”

Unfortunately for the Emperor, his troubles were not ended. Less than a month later, a wild-eyed courier arrived from the northeast, bearing strange news – Blajakay Red-Hand and his army were swiftly approaching on the highway from Thaton – and there were a great number of mercenaries among their number.

“Treachery?” Moldoraja could not believe this turn of events. “Yet I’ve prayed six times a day!” His priests nodded in agreement. Everyone knew the Emperor was a pious man. “Summon the army! A thousand monks will chant sutras from dawn to dusk, calling for our victory over this traitor!”

As it happened, Blajakay (a prince of the Thai people, actually) happened to be marching on the capital with 43,000 men (including a large number of Hmong and Arnori mercenaries) while Moldoraja could barely manage to field 14,000 soldiers (the Duke of Saigon did answer his call for assistance with three thousand Viet riflemen). The Emperor was forced to cower within the massive walls of Angkor, though his recovery from the wounds sustained in the garden was not helped by the appearance of little prince Khejaraja in Blajakay’s camp. The Red Hand declared the nine-year old boy “true Emperor of Khemer” and called on the nobility to support him.

Cursing vilely, Moldoraja refused to surrender, and Blajakay’s army encircle the capital and began digging siegeworks. After doing little during the rainy season, as soon as the weather cleared in ’46, Red Hand set about hammering Angkor Wat into rubble and rooting out the Emperor by the short hairs.

His already poor abilities hampered by his wounds, Moldoraja put up a ferocious resistance for six months. Day by day, though, the hammering of Red Hand’s army tore down the monumental fortifications and exhausted the defenders. At last, a sudden assault by the Arnor mercenaries carried one of the river gates and the Red Hand’s army poured into the city. The duke of Saigon was killed in the fray, rushing his riflemen to try and stanch the breach, while Moldoraja fled in a riverboat, disguised as a … monk.[1]

Within the week, Blajakay crowned little Khejaraja as Emperor of the Khemers and issued a series of edicts proclaiming Moldoraja an outcast and traitor (and accusing the refugee monarch of trying to have his son strangled). The Red Hand was acclaimed as Regent for the boy-Emperor and immediately won the love of the citizens by disbursing food, gifts and plain old silver[2] to the mob. The army was similarly rewarded, and hardly anyone noticed the ‘great general’ had abandoned the conquered territories of Palas, Gaur and Samatata.

Though Blajakay’s agents were searching high and low for the fugitive Emperor, Moldoraja – aided by the Pure Realm – escaped to Hafez in Dai Viet, where he declared a “restored” Empire in opposition to Blajakay’s Thai regime. The provinces of Dai Viet, Mison and Champa followed him, as did lord Sanjaya (who had been mucking about in the mountains of Laos, searching for the ‘city of the Golden Buddha.’

The Red Hand held the rest and prepared for a summer campaign in ’47 to crush the last of the Khemer resistance.

[1] A big stretch, I know…
[2] Oddly, most of the coin was not of Khemer minting, but rather came from Arnor and Java.

Thai-Khmer Empire: Well, the Red Hand was quite pleased with the way things were going so far! All of this Thai relatives immediately flooded into the splintered government, snatching up all the best ministries and offices. A rather cordial letter was dispatched to the rulers of Arnor and Yasarid India, thanking them for their ‘assistance’ in ‘restoring proper government’ to the Khmer Empire.

1747–1748 T209
Khemer Empire: Doings in Hafez, at the court-in-exile of the betrayed king Moldoraja, became ugly very quickly in ’47. Thai agents were busy among the refugee princes and nobles, finding an eager accomplice in the Duke of Saigon, who wished to return home!

As a result, Moldoraja was murdered by the Duke’s men in the spring of ’47 and Blajakay’s agents were quickly on hand to secure the loyalty of the dead Emperor’s troops[1]. By the fall Dai Viet, Mison and Champa were in Thai hands. A sad end for an ancient and noble lineage… though the boy Khejaraja still lived, though he was no more than a prisoner in the cruel hands of Blajakay.

Thai Empire: Having seized an empire, the Red Hand now devoted all of his efforts to secure the prize. He ran through two wives before finding one who could yield up a healthy son without dying herself. He also directed his son Bharwonkay to wed, though the boy was rather sulky about the whole affair. Armies and embassies were dispatched in all directions.

The noble-browed lord Taqajaya took an army up to the troublesome north-western frontier and found the provinces of Samatata, Arakan and Palas all once more independent. Lacking what he felt was sufficient strength to essay a campaign among the Moslem barbarians, he saw to the defenses of Ava. On the eastern side of the realm, general Hansajya marched through Cochin, Champa, Mison and Dai Viet – accepting the fealty of those provinces for the Regent. Some nasty business in Hafez was cleaned up and the ‘missing’ Imperial fleet recovered.

For a wonder, the priests of the Pure Realm actually backed off on their aggressive campaign of proselytization in Moslem lands. Instead of engaging in fisticuffs with the Shi’a imams in Yasarid territory, they concentrated on the independent or Thai provinces of Samatata, Arakan and Ava – where they found great success.

Diplomatic efforts in Mon and Laos met with unmitigated, violent, failure. Both embassies were ambushed by the hostile, doubtless-flesh-eating locals and slaughtered.

Shi'a Imamat: Efforts at missionary work in Palas were foiled by the intransigent nature of the Buddhist colonists there (who, even with the withdrawal of the Thai armies in the area, were still fighting on.)

1749–1750 T210
Thai Empire: Diplomacy Lampang(very angry natives, embassy on spikes)
Not being the most subtle of rulers, the Red Hand launched into a series of initiatives designed to shatter the power of the great landowners, plantation operations and guilds. At the same time he insulted the Lampang tribes – resulting in another dead ambassador and the prospect of raids out of the northern mountains – and dispatched an army into Samatata, in immediate violation of the compact signed only a few years before with the Yasarids.

The Pure Realm priests continued to cajole and connive their way into positions of power within Thai lands – and the constant pressure of their missionary work in the west meant ever more Buddhists in Arakan, Samatata, Gaur, Assam and the town of Leakai.

General Taqajaya led five thousand men into Samatata, slapped the ill-armed natives about and then found himself entirely bogged down in garrisoning the province[1]. His hopes of pressing on into the lowlands of the Brahmaputra were dashed.

[1] The Samatatans get invaded by Thai/Khemer/whoever every 4-5 years and they are heartily sick of it! So the province can’t be Pacified Tributary, only Pacified.

Supreme Primacy of Oro: The Shark-Priests mostly minded their own business, though a lucrative trade in various religious handicrafts began with both the Thai and the Japanese.

Yasarid India: Struggling to just stay alive in the face of renewed Hussite and Thai aggression, Abdullah squandered the last of his riyals and hired those few mercenaries still to be had in the sub-continent.

1751-1752 T211
Thai Empire: Diplomacy No Effect (the citizens of Hafez threw stones and cursed the Thai lord visiting them)
Having little patience for either the 'old order' or for the agreements struck by fallen kings, the Red Hand dispatched two new armies (and a fleet) to the north-west to run roughshod over the collapsing rubble of the Yasarid state. At the same time, he marched his own armies about, rooting out "Hindu sympathizers and spies", of which there were apparently quite a number… some of these miscreants managed to creep into the palace where young Emperor Kheharaja was being held and poisoned and strangled the lad. A sad end to a once-great dynasty. Far to the east, the city of Medan on the Marianas was rebuilt by Khemer settlers.

Back in the north-west territories; one Khemer army marched into Samatata and crouched there, daring the natives to rebel, while two more (under the command of the able Taqajaya and the unctuous Tak-sim) plowed into Assam, where they slapped around the Moslem rajah and stormed Leakai. Locked in mortal combat with the Hussites as they were, the Yasarid princes were unable to help their ally.

Tewfik: Captain Busir, finding considerable success among the thriving mercantile concerns of Thai, was killed in a scuffle with some Albanian sailors - he took an icepick right between the ribs and coughed his life out in the mud of a Rangoon alley.

1753-1754 T212
PM&T: A lucrative arrangement was struck between the Trust Company and the Thai government - one followed by a massive expansion of Company interests in that country.

Pure Realm: Many clerks were dispatched to assist the Thai regime.

Thai Empire: Though the Emperor was away in the east, beating the living daylights out of all the Moslems he could find, his ministers at home were busy trying to reform and revise the intricate network of laws, social mores and traditional customs that bound master to slave, kshatriya to Brahmin and so on. The man on the street viewed all of this with grave suspicion, for all know that change brought chaos, and chaos was by definition bad. A variety of plantations were opened in Mison.

Scads of Pure Realm monks arrived in Angkor to assist the government of the Red Hand in an audit. Unfortunately, no sooner than they had arrived, than they fell out among themselves bickering over who should become the new Great Master. So little work was done.

Even more Pure Realm monks (is there no end to them???) continued to plague the citizens of Palas, Samatata and Assam. All three regions continued to slowly slide towards Buddhism, despite the disorganized and dispirited efforts of the local Moslem clergy to resist. Only in Gaur did the locals take matters into their own hands, slaughtering any Buddhists they could lay their hands on.

Negotiations with the Danish government resolved the "Mon Question" with the province becoming part of the Thai state and the white-eyed devils gaining a perpetual lease to the city of Weiscastel.

On the Indian front, Thai armies swarmed like locusts in Samatata - the Emperor and lord Hansajaya launched an attack into Palas even as General Taqajaya pounced on Gaur (ostensibly to rescue local Buddhists from Moslem vegenance). Their road to victory, however, would not be easy…

Even as the Red-Hand was marshalling his troops in northern Samatata, a clutch of his own bodyguards rushed him in the pre-dawn light, blades drawn in murderous intent. The Emperor had risen to power on the strength of foreign meddling and now (as he turned to bite the hand which had raised him up) the knife twisted, striking back upon him. Blajakay was swift to his own defense, hewing down two of the assassins, and then more of his own (loyal) guards rushed into save him. The Emperor crumpled to the ground, gasping in pain --- a kukri-knife blow had slashed his left hand to ruin. Now he truly was the "Red Hand".

Commotion rippled through the camp, fed by wild rumors. Other groups of assassins - all of them men of Khemer descent, having no love of the new Thai overlords - struck down Hansajaya and Taqajaya - leaving only the lesser lights (Moldojaya and Tak-sim) to command the invasion. The Emperor, realizing his own weakness, countermanded the orders. "Next year," he growled, trying to stanch the wound with a napkin. "Next year…"

He returned to Angkor within a few months, realizing he would need to root out the rest of the spies… he was followed by literally hundreds of letters from Moldo and Tak, who were intriguing against each other in Samatata, bickering and plotting and trying to convince the Emperor the other was a traitor.

1755-1756 T213
PM&T: Still attempting to dig out of the public relations hole created by his youthful indiscretions, Agoi sent large sums to the Aztecs, Thai and Ming.

Pure Realm: With a heavy heart, Wan Ho also released many of his clerks, countingmen and tea-girls to the direct employ of the Thai and the Ming. Stunned by this turn of events, many of the former employees sought other work. Particularly the tea-girls.

Thai Empire: Diplomacy Mon (^a)
The Red Hand’s determination to secure his dynasty as the rulers of the old Khemer took a blow when his younger wife Deisana perished in childbirth in ’55. Efforts to break down the casted, slave-holding rural classes slowed appreciably once the news of events in Judea circulated. The fighting in India did not die down, however, as the Emperor dispatched general Nai-thim to take command of the army encamped at Samatata.

At home, the ships of the Pacific Mercenary and Trust continued to throng Thai ports, making a handsome profit from the thriving rice and yam trade. Despite the putative outbreak of peace in India, the Thai maintained their state of war with the remnants of the Yasarid state.

Meanwhile, general Moldyaja (commander of part of the Thai forces in Samatata) had learned of Nai-thim’s reassignment and immediately tried to seize the opportunity to murder Lord Tak-sim and take control of the army. Unfortunately, his skill at skullduggery was quite poor, and he was still trying to get his plot together when Nai-thim arrived, learned of the incipient mutiny and had Moldyaja arrested and executed. Tak-sim breathed a sigh of relief – he was not implicated.

With the army unified at last, the Thai swept into Palas…

Yasarid India: Faced with a renewed Thai invasion from the east (and there were no tricks left to stall their advance), the Yasarid partisans in Ahvaz abandoned the city. Though they attempted to convince emir ben-Amir-Adin to join them in flight, that worthy elected to remain behind and defend his city against the pustule-ridden Buddhists.

Lord Dhenuka, therefore, took a small force of men and rode northwest in haste, his banners furled, his men’s signs and signets hidden. They crept through Maghada, keeping to the foothills of the Himalayas, seeking to break through into Arnor lands and hurl themselves upon the demon-infested Hussites one last time…

The Bengalese coast was rocked by a powerful earthquake centered in the province of Kalinga. The small city of Khalil was essentially flattened by the shockwave, and a fire swept through the remains, sending thousands of citizens fleeing into the countryside.

Abandoned by the last of the Yasarids, the shahen of Palas and Gaur rallied their countrymen to resist the Thai invasion. Some of the lesser lords held out hope the Lion of Bundelkhand would succor them, but the shah of Palas already knew a deal had been cut, leaving his domain in Thai hands if he could not hold it himself. Thus, an Islamic army of some ten thousand men were raised and sallied forth to hold the crossings of the lower Ganges against the Thai invaders (who, sadly, had come well equipped with warships and river-boats).

At Khulna the Moslem princes gave battle against more than twice their number of Buddhists and were soundly defeated. Under the more-than-able command of Nai-Thim, the Thais crossed the river in a lightning stroke, crushed the Moslem flank and scattered the rest. Palas fell under their sway, again, and Ahvaz was besieged by General Tak-Sim while Nai-Thim secured Gaur.

Hammered by the guns of the Thai fleet, as well as a large siege train on land, Ahvaz capitulated by the end of ’56. All Bengal was now under the Thai flag.

1757-1758 T214
PM&T: Captains Yashuhiro and Shimura, who were operating down in Thai lands, got a hot reception in Saigon – unidentified assailants shot their litters full of holes, sorely wounded captain Shimura, and killing six of their retainers.

Pure Realm: This particular initiative had been forced upon Wan Ho by the perplexing issue of the Burning Sea, which rendered communications between Fusan and the steadily expanding Realm presence Thai and India very difficult.

A large number of clerks, transcribers and accountants were sent south to succor the Thai.

Thai Empire: Diplomacy Mon (^f)
Still trying to dig out of the financial mess inflicted on the Thai banks by the perfidious Yasarids, the “Red Hand” was forced to borrow large sums from the PM&T company, in exchange for granting them exclusive rights to any spare grain, rice, banana peels or elephant meat the empire could spare in perpetuity. The Emperor also went on bended knee to the Qing, who saw fit to dole out a few scraps to keep the “bastion of Buddhism” from disintegrating as the economy collapsed. By all these efforts (as well as squeezing the farmers and merchants) the “Red Hand” managed to shore up the banks, pay off all the bad paper and keep things on an even keel. “Long may his name be praised!” Shouted the bankers. Pretty impressive for a man who was quite possibly the worst ruler the Thai had seen in centuries.

In a similar vein, the Emperor begged the Pure Realm to help him administer the newly-conquered provinces in India, to which old Wan Ho responded with several shiploads of ‘administrators’. Of course, many of these learned and literate men wound up running things in Angkor, not in barbarous India.

And on the northwestern frontier, more troops were marched up to Palas to reinforce the garrisons in Gaur and Ahvaz. General Nai-thim kept a ready watch on the frontier. He was not so sure the peace with the Chandellans would hold, not when every mosque was filled with the Muslim faithful praying the Lion of Bundelkhand would ride to their rescue. The fleet was withdrawn – the Moslems didn’t have any warships and the sailors were homesick.

Shi’a Imamat: The Buddhist pukes continued to press hard in the regions newly conquered by the Thai, which provoked an open uprising in Leakai in Assam. The Muslim rioters were viciously suppressed by the Thai goons and thousands were killed. Fortunately for the Moslem cause, many of those killed were newly converted Buddhists. There was also mild Buddhist missionary effort in Gtsang, though these priests were making a long journey overland from Ming China itself. Stricken as they were, the Shi’a imams did try and reverse the Buddhist tide in Palas, which was quite difficult given the steady influx of Khemer settlers.

1759–1760 T215
PM&T: The Agoi clan continued to exercise their letters of credit, sending vast sums of specie, coin and bags of gold dust to the Ming, the Aztecs, and the Thai. “So many masters,” whined Juchen, signing orders to decommission hundreds of smaller ships in the company fleet. “So little time...”

Thai Empire: Growing quite fat and considerably pleased with himself, the “Red Hand” attempted to begat some more heirs – and again the curse which seemed to dog his house claimed the life of Lady Miu, who died in childbirth. Morose and bitterly angry, Blajakay closeted himself in the palace and refused to see anyone for months. In his nominal absence, things went on much as they had before. The generals looted the new north-western provinces and carved out vast estates for themselves, the Pacifican merchants controlled all shipping and grew wealthy as a result.

The Red Hand bestowed many favors upon the fawning Pacifican merchants, including the right to handle all trade between Mighty Thai and the pitiful domains of the Hosogawans on Borneo. The Emperor’s divine favor did not prevent two Pacifican captains – Yasuhiro and Shimura – from being murdered while they were on their way to meet with local businessmen in Monorom. The bodies were found decapitated and mutilated in a cheap hotel room. Rumors of ritual markings and a peculiar smell were discounted by the police.

Garrisons in the north-western provinces of Bengal were increased, given the level of religious violence on hand.

1761–1762 T216
PM&T: The Company coffers continued to spill endless streams of golden coin into Qing, Aztec and Thai hands.

Shipping concerns picked up a bit, with the Thai government granting Agoi the right to handle their trade with the Nisei in Amerika and the Borang Bakufu in Austral.

Qing China: The Qing squadrons based at Palankawi sortied north into the Andaman Sea and attempted to move a large army up the Brahmaputra River towards Gtsang. Unfortunately their heavy transports almost immediately ran around on the river’s shoals and sandbars. As a result, General Dihn Duy was forced to detach Joo Siah, his second in command, with crews to drag the trapped ships free and return them to Awaz. Luckily, an alliance had recently been brokered between the Thai and the Qing, so the crews and ships were not impounded.

Now afoot (save for a few smaller transports capable of navigating the shallow river), Duy and his men pressed north, slogging through Palas and Assam and – finally! – into Gtsang. Duy was a little concerned when he failed to encounter a second Qing army (that of the Duke of Lingsi) which had been planning to cross the mountains from Tz’uk’an. However, the Lingsi-men did not show up.

Still puzzled, the Qing engineers immediately set about building a settlement (to be called Nimhan) in freshly cleared jungle at the highest point on the Brahmaputra their river-boats could reach. Several months after arriving, while in the middle of construction, the emir of Gtsang and all his feudal levies launched a surprise assault on the camp during a torrential nighttime downpour. The kukri-knife wielding Gurkhas were across the perimeter fences and into the gun-pits and barracks before the Qing soldiers even knew they were under attack.

A terrible melee followed, with the Gtsangi slaughtering the sleepy Qing workers, burning every building they could set alight with oil and pitch, spiking the Chinese guns and generally running rampant. Panicked, the Qing fled south, into the jungle and forest, hunted like Hindoomen by the vicious Gurkhas. By stupendous luck, Dhin Duy managed to reach the Thai garrison at Leakai safely, followed by scattered bands of his infantry and cavalry, but all the workers had been slaughtered and he’d lost his entire artillery battery.

Thai Empire: The Red Hand continued to accumulate an ever-larger personal guard in Angkor. Saigon in Phan Rang expanded a level. Not content with three or four heirs, the Emperor took another wife – Indradevi – and set about getting her pregnant. In this he was successful, which was a surprise to everyone but the beatific Indradevi, who (while only eighteen) was no fool.

An enormous complex of steel-rolling mills, workshops and foundries were built in Angkor Wat by the Pacific Manufacturing and Transport company for a rumored railroad project spanning the Thai domains. Realm priests also continued to labor in the newly conquered provinces of Bengal – the city of Leakai in Assam was converted to Buddhism, and (despite fierce resistance) Samatata was sliding the same way.

Despite ferocious resistance on the part of the citizenry, a diplomatic mission under the leadership of Lord Ong-yai was successful in easing tensions there a little bit. The Thai Foreign Ministry hailed this as a great success, which it was.

1763–1764 T217
PM&T: A tidy trade in wheat, rice and sake between Thai, Mongolia and the Aztec realm kept the Company hulls busy, while efforts were also made to expand into the old Tatarsky realm in Alaska.

Thai Empire: “There is a cancer growing among us,” the Red Hand proclaimed to his court, “an unfathomable evil, one which carried an ancient, reviled name – the name of Dai—”

BANG!

Confusion erupted in the great hall as the Emperor’s Hmong bodyguards swarmed over the struggling figure of a lesser lord in the Thai court, a man attempting to fire a pistol at the Emperor. He was subdued, hand severed, and dragged immediately away. The Red Hand grimaced, staring at a bullet-hole not more than a foot from his head. He resolved to spare nothing in annihilating the cultists threatening his rule.

Massive raids were made in Khemer, Angkor Wat and Saigon in attempt to expunge the Dai Baoists. Despite these successes, however, the Red Hand did not sleep well at night.

The upriver town of Leakai, in Assam, expanded a level – and was graced with hundreds of new Japanese-style houses, public parks, baths, Shinto temples and bento-bars to serve the burgeoning population of PM&T workers living there. The Company was also busy back at the capital, where the establishment of a railroad yard and foundry complex in Angkor Wat two years ago bore fruit with work beginning on a railroad line to Mundripara in Siam. Laborers promised by the Thai government to clear the jungles, build bridges over the muddy rivers and generally dig, hoe and haul failed to show up, leading to very little progress.

A little further south, in the rugged hills and jungles of Samatata, continued efforts by the Pure Realm priesthood to convert the Moslem tribes sparked off another violent revolt, which immediately devolved into frenzied massacres directed against the Buddhist population. This immediately drew the attention of the Thai army in Palas, which marched in, determined to suppress the tribesmen once and for all! General Nai-thim faced a brutal struggle, for the tribesmen knew their only hope of keeping the faith of their fathers was jihad. Thousands of Thai troops were slain, as was general Thipuwara, but the revolt was suppressed.

The revolt of the Samatatans was not restricted solely to their homeland, however, some of the more fanatical tribesmen were living in Palas as well, and they took the opportunity to beset the Thai nobleman Ong-yai while he was relaxing in a bath-house and hack the poor devil into a hundred pieces, leaving only his head untouched…

1765–1766 T218
PM&T: Nearly a decade of effort paid off at last, with two railway projects pressing ahead in Thai and Qing (and a third was preparing to start in the Amerikas), and relations with the Aztecs were now very cordial (as certain unsecured loans had, at last, been repaid).

Thai Empire: Though the Emperor’s reputation belied ever seeking a diplomatic solution to anything, Prince Kanok did led a delegation to the Palasian nobility, trying to get them to accept Thai overlordship with grace. The Palasians, for the most part, refused and remained truculent. Back in the capital, meantime, the Red Hand had ordered his armies into the field – “find these rebels and crush them! Leave not a single traitor’s neck unstretched!”

PM&T crews finished the first Thai railroad, connecting Angkor Wat in Khemer to Mundripara in Siam. There was unfettered excitement in both cities as the first train completed its journey in a cloud of choking steam and cinder-smoke, carrying hundreds of cheering railway workers and Prince (?).

In the north-west, fighting continued in Samatata between Moslem hold-outs trying to stem the tide of Pure Realm missionaries and the Thai garrison, though not at the level of violence previously experienced.

In the south, Generals Nai-Thim, Suwit, and Chai-Son led swift columns into the countryside, racing to seize suspected rebel strongholds in Assam, Siam, Pegu, Surin and Mison. Thousands were arrested, and most of them then died in captivity. Cruel and expedient methods were employed, as the Emperor was not fooling about!

His enemies, however, were not without their own cruel methods – unknown men ambushed a quiet afternoon tea party hosted by Princess Indradevi and her ladies on a private island in the Tonle Sap and foully murdered the Princess, her attendants and the 12-year-old prince Dhadrapala. The bodies were found by servants bringing fresh sweets and sandwiches – rumor reported the Princess’ body was disfigured with Sanskrit runes saying “We shall return.”

The Red Hand was driven nearly out of his mind with rage and grief – he ordered a purge of both palace staff and government departments, seeking to find the “traitors” who had slaughtered his beloved wife. Thousands more perished in an orgy of paranoia… amid all the horror, barely anyone noticed that the Duke of Saigon took his own life.

1767–1768 T219
Pure Realm: Over the vigorous protests of his temple guard commanders, as well as the various priests assigned to see to the needs of pilgrims flocking to the holy city, Sosandaesa granted the civil administration of the city indipendence from the oversight of the Temple. At the same time, an arrangement had been secretly reached with the Thai empire for them to establish a military and political presence in the metropolis.

Thai Empire: Loathing idle men more than most, the Red Hand ordered six regiments of artillery out of the reserve and into the field. “The best medicine for a Moslem pig is grapeshot,” he proclaimed ghoulishly. The Emperor also continued to press his edicts against the caste system and the holding of slaves. Both were met with steadily rising resistance. The railway to Nakhon, however, was completed as the PM&T overseers were beginning to get the hang of driving huge mobs of Khemer laborers and elephants to clear a path through the jungle.

Buddhist and Thai priests continued to work vigorously in Ahvaz, in Palas, where the local Moslems struggled stubbornly to keep their faith. Prince Kanok, commander of the local garrison, barely escaped an attempt on his life by knife-wielding zealots.

The Emperor – finding Angkor a little dangerous for his tastes (the Khemer separatists had tried to blow up a carriage he was riding in) – took the main army, reinforced by thousands of new troops, into the north-east, gathering up garrisons as he moved… he reached Palas with 36,000 men. Other Thai generals and the fleet were also converging upon the Bengal, rapidly swelling the ranks of a vast host.

Down in Singapore, there was religious trouble in the Free City, as boatloads of Oroist missionaries from distant Rarotonga arrived to bedevil the local Orangists. Intermittent violence followed between the two factions, causing the mayor to enforce a curfew and consider banning the Islanders from his city.

Java: In an odd parallel to the cruel Blajakay of Thai-land, the Kahuna also launched a reform of the civil law aimed at breaking down the caste structure throughout the islands and in reducing the power of the great mercantile, trade and craft guilds.

Emirate of the Chandellas: The massing of Thai armies in Palas was keenly noted by the border guards – the steady trickle of Moslem refugees from that land were eager to fill Kuhman’s ears with news of dire portent.

1769–1770 T220
Pure Realm: Late in '70, a battered fleet arrived from the south, filled with seasick Thai and Khemer soldiers to reinforce the physical defences of Holy Fusan. Soon after they crawled ashore, however, there was great dispute in the city as Sosandaesa had decided to hand over all civil matters to these barbarous and ill-aspected foreigners.

Thai Empire: Temporarily abandoning his ambitions in India, the Red Hand marches his army back across the empire from Palas to fetch up in Saigon, where he kept a worried eye on the sky and the southern coasts. He was joined by his nervous and complaining son, Bharwonkay, who seemed consumed by the fear his father would just have him dragged out into the street and shot like a dog.

The high-handed ways of the Pure Realm abbot Cho Fat, who was attempting to convince the local priests in Khemer province to follow the strict doctrine issuing from Fusan angered the local prelates and turned many of their temples away from the Realm’s path of righteousness.

The Thai had not, however, entirely abandoned their Indian conquests. General Chai-son remained on watch in ever-restive Palas with a strong army, and Admiral Tak-sim was dispatched to take command of the Colombo garrison on Sri Lanka. Curiously, the easterners resolved to treat the Palasians with great respect, lavishing the remaining chiefs and rajahs with feasts, games and all manner of presents. Tensions in the province cooled somewhat.

This could not be said of Singapore, where the usually peaceable fortress-island was now riven with conflict between Orangist zealots, Oroist preachers, Thai secret police agents and all manner of scum, rascals and malcontents.

The Kings

  • Ayutthaya Blajakay 1746-date

The Players

  • Bruce Morgan T210-date
  • Dave Peters T208-T209

Last updated 1 April 2005

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