Ushanghali (u ʃaŋ ˈh̃a li) Empire - An ancient, Peroatlan empire lasting from about -3500 to -3250, which drew its name from its founder, Ushanghal (the name means "Sea-Rider") that solidified the Peroatlans as the preeminent people of civilized Kakhor for the next 2500 years. The progeny of this Empire was first the Empire of Peroth, and later the mighty Atlass Empire. The title- Zanelek, was a sacred imperial mantle that was claimed for centuries after Ushanghal's legacy. See a list of rulers here.
The People Edit
The Proto-Peroatlan people were an ethnically similar, inventive, and expansive people by -3500. They were some of the first people to master seagoing boats as well as water-bound trade, leading to vast and far flung colonies at a time when much of agricultural society on Doara was relatively stationary and defensive. This led to a network of bustling, independent and innovative city states stretching from the western tip of the Perocadh Peninsula to the western coast of the Naklab Peninsula.
City states were the most common feature of Kakhor civilization at the time, with walled cities serving as the main unit of rule for a leader. Rarely before had civilizations united more than a few cities (See Mradhorro). The Peroatlan cities were usually ruled by an Elek, the equivalent of a despotic monarch, who would choose a successor either from his own family or from a pool of worthy noblemen.
Because cities were usually ruled separately, raids and invasions from neighboring peoples were often hard to repulse, due to a lack of unity. These raids, particularly by the neighboring Fesha people in the southwest were the initial cause of the push for a uniting force among the Peroatlans- a push that was timed perfectly with the birth of Ushanghal.
Ushanghal - The Sea Rider Edit
Ushanghal was the son of a noble in a southwestern Peroatlan city renamed Ushanghal-alha (Literally "Ushanghal's Seat", seat was a common suffix for Peroatlan city names). At a young age, he showed much promise in seamanship as well as a knack for leadership.
Around -3500, Ushanghal was able to unite the cities along the Caratis River to repulse a major raid by the Fesha people under the legendary chief Shorep. After defeating the invaders, the citizens of the federated cities called for a unification of the Peroatlans under Ushanghal's leadership; granting for the first time the title of zanelek or emperor. This is generally considered the beginning of the empire, and some of the earliest written records from this region refer to this unification.
With the strength of a united military and economy, Ushanghal subdued more of the local city states on the southern plain but by -3473 had assembled enough strength and religious backing to set out on the first of a series of sea journeys.
The first of Ushanghal's journeys took him to the island of Vulc, home to the famous Zanomara Volcano, a site of mythic religious importance for the Peroatlans, where he was ceremoniously confirmed as the true zanelek of all Peroatlans. From Vulc, he and his expeditionary force sailed breifly to the Izass Archipelago and then continued on to the southeastern coast of the peninsula, where after a breif show of force, he was welcomed openly as leader. Here he founded the new city of Ushaora which would eventually serve as his capital, and a city of great importance for the successive Peroatlan states.
After a few years spent consolidating his religious hold on his existing acquisitions, Ushanghal set out on a second expedition to the island of Zanatal. Upon landing, he was confronted by the forces of the local Atlan cities, who had united in an attempt to maintain their independence from the mainland. Ushanghal was able to cleverly trick several of the minor elekan turn against each other and overwhelm the disorganized forces in order to secure the majority of the island for his empire. To secure his control over the isalnd, he founded the new city of Atalha near the mouth of the Imisha River as a center of administration.
From Atalha, Ushanghal took a smaller expedition and sailed around the northern coast of Zanatal in an attempt to secure the Peroatlan trade colonies on the Naklab Peninsula, but seasonal storms along with the push of the colder ocean currents pushed the expedition off course until they had to turn back to Atalha. The Naklab Peroatlans were never consolidated into the Ushanghali Epmire.
After the failed Naklab expedition, Ushanghal returned to Ushaora where he was nonetheless welcomed as a hero. By now, Ushanghal was increasingly viewed as a mythically powerful figure, ordained by Omaross himself to rule the world. The failure of the Naklab expedition was blamed on the jealousy of the sea goddess Ushassi who wanted to hinder Ushanghal from conquering the entire world so quickly.
In -3451, Ushanghal set sail again with a significantly larger force of over 100 ships and rounded the tip of the Perocadh Peninsula (a region which had already voluntarily joined the empire two years before), sailing west along the coast and arriving at the bustling city of Peroth, which had grown quite large and wealthy from the east - west flow of trade (a precursor to the Kakhor - Zointh Trade). After failing to diplomatically acquire the city, Ushanghal laid seige, due to the formidable stone walls; a rare occurrence in that age.
It took nearly two years before some of Ushanghal's men were able to infiltrate the city by swimming under the wall through a water gate and opening the gates for Ushanghal's forces. All of the Perothan noble families were either killed or exiled and the elek was blinded publicly- a punishment that was a mark of eternal shame on the recipient. Ushanghal had brought goods and wealth from the other cities and distributed them as gifts to the people of Peroth and gained their overwhelming trust and support.
Ushanghal remained in Peroth for the next two years, expanding his influence on the surrounding interior and solidifying his control on the highly populous area. In -3446 Ushanghal set sail again and headed west towards the most remote Peroatlan population center- Retcalha (later Redcah, the namesake of the Bay of Redcah) at the crossroads of Kakhor and Zointh civilizations.
Retcalha was a city of legend to the more eastern Peroatlans, who had little knowledge of eastern lands and indeed, an expedition like Ushanghal's would have been unprecedented - only traders in their small coastal ships had ever made the journey consistently. The land between Peroth and Retcalha was essentially uninhabited and covered in thick jungle, providing little supplies and hospitality to the Ushanghali forces.
Finally in -3445, Ushanghal arrived at Retcalha. The city itself was not ruled by an elek, but a council of nobles and priests. Ushanghal had a number of priests among his number and sent them to convene with the Retcan priests about his religious destiny. Seeing such a formidable assembly of their own people from so far away, many Retcans believed he must be ordained and and wanted him as ruler. The nobles who wanted independence however held the city center and temple in defiance of Ushanghal.
While Ushanghal and his party camped outside the city, those sympathetic to his cause snuck into the city center at night and killed the defiant nobles in their sleep. With his opposition gone, Ushanghal gained total control over the city and it's wealth.