Cadh Empire - a late classical empire of Dhecadhach origin that ruled from -115 until 105 and capitalized on the instability of north-central Kakhor immediately after the collapse of the Atlass Empire, leading to one of the largest and most deadly conflicts in the history of Doara: the Cadh War (-7 to 105). The empire also served as the culmination of the Dhecadhach civilization- the first to develop agriculture and develop city states in the late -5000s.
The Cadh Empire was formed in -115 as a result of the political consilidation of Cadhah and Cadh Enste, two bustling Dhecadhach states that had remained separate for hundreds of years but closely tied in culture and heritage. In -138, when Cadh Enste was without a male heir, the strikingly popular prince and heir to Cadhah, Madhestah married the daughter and only eligible royal candidate of Cadh Enste, making himself the de-facto heir of both kingdoms.
After rising to the throne of Cadhah in -117, Madhestah began to scheme against his aging father-in-law, Coradh III, who was against his daughter's marriage and wished to place his young nephew on the throne after his death. in -115, Madhestah was able to gain the support of palace guards in Cadh Enste, and in a single night, both Coradh III and his nephew were suffocated in their sleep, giving the entire kingdom over to the new king. Incited by agents among the populous, who were already fond of Madhestah, there was clamour for him to be crowned Emperor, Dhasehleh, a title derived from the Atlan term Sanelek for "mighty-king" or "greater-king". Thus, Madhestah incorporated the two kingdoms into one empire; instantly making the Dhecadhach people the most powerful force in northern Kakhor.
Early Expansion Edit
Madhestah quickly consolidated the two kingdoms by marrying nobles across kingdom lines, and going so far as to completely dissolve the previous kingships (it was common for a king or emperor to maintain the lesser titles under his domain, but Madhestah was able to avoid succession crises by working to dissolve the division between the nations). By -108, many people were migrating east and west and the old ties to the kingdoms were only memories in the older generation.
Madhestah launched a series of brief campains in the southwest against the Gilmekha there, primarily for fame, but also to solidify his hold over all Dhecadhach people and dissuade the more "primitive" Gilmekha tribes from raiding and looting in the Dhecodhor River Valley (or its tributaries)-- no real territory was gained.
Madhestah was succeeded in -76 by his son, Dhecodha who shared his father's ambition and acumen for politics. in -75 he dibanded the noble council (which had bloated into an inneffective political nightmare when the two kingdoms united) in favor of a tiered governing system in which he, the Dhaseleh had absolute power, and ruled through ikedhun, regional governors, who in turn ruled over tamedhun or "counts", who in turn ruled over the local nobles. This system would serve them well when administering conquered territory-- putting layers of more and more familiar leadership over foreigners but maintaining the oversight and control.
Dhecodha launched a military campaign against Gimataya, a nominally controlled Atlan province northwest of the Dhecodhor Basin in -70, hoping to gain more valuable seaports and a powerful position near the western edge of the Sea of Mazed. Gimataya pledged tentative allegiance to the emperor in Ataya, but imperial forces and shipping hadn't graced the colony in over a decade. Thus, local garrisons under only loose control defended the region, and Dhecodha was able to subdue the coastline with minimal effort. The campaign was glorified to the peasants, claiming that they had beaten down the mighty Atlass Empire (Though the Atlans were only a shell of their former domain, on the brink of collapse), and the Dhaseleh's popularity soared.
A wave of nationalism now sweeping through the Cadh Empire, more and more young men left home to join the military. They hoped to find glory and fame as warriors during the rise of their Empire. Dhecodha started to enact military reforms, assigning standards for unit size per officer, soldier functions, and eventually even equipment in some cases. When in many societies the soldier was responsible for their own equipment, special taxes were levied specifically for equipping soldiers equally.
The consolidation of the area, and the military reforms led the Cadh Empire to quickly become the most powerful and professional military force in the world-- setting the stage for a massive conflict in the coming generation.
Rise to Greatness Edit
Dhecodha ruled for 58 years, until -24, when the throne passed to his eldest son Madhestah II without incident. Now the Cadh Empire was internally sound and well established; maintaining and equipping a standing army of over 150,000 soldiers (the largest in the world at this time for a nation at peace). Madhestah II looked to continue the ambition of his predecessors in securing trade monopolies on the Kakhor - Zointh Trade from the Mazedian Sea.
Right away, in -24, Madhestah II sent envoys to Israe, a former Atlan trading colony and a hub for renowned sailors and trading guilds, demanding massive tribute in return for imperial "protection". Israe refused the ultimatum, and the Cadhs set sail with over 5000 men on 250 ships to take the island by force. Though the island was taken relatively quickly, it took almost four years for the empire to hunt and capture all of the guild leadership. Madhestah placed several of his own naval captains over the existing trade guilds to maintain a sense of autonomy, but the empire maintained strict control over the island and gained significant influence over the trade routes in the region.
Immediately after taking Israe, a campaign was organized to conquer Redcah, another successor of Atlass in the region, which owned a small area along the central and eastern coast of the Bay of Redcah. The cities maintained their Atlan fortifications and were formidable, but with a lack of allies and manpower, the Cadhs were able to easily outnumber them 10 to 1. After attacking in -20, the conflict was reduced to seiges in only a few weeks, and by -13, all of the cities had surrendered or been overrun with imperial forces. This brought another link in the valuable Kakhor - Zointh Trade corridor into Cadh hands.
Madhestah II now prepared for a much larger campaign, gathering all forces to the Cadh capital.