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The Fuhrati Empire

The Old Order

The Fuhrati Empire was a monarchial state, created in its modern form approximately in 50 B.S., that lasted for just over a century until its collapse in 63 A.S., marking the end of the Chainbreaker War. It was founded by Sultan Haroon II, of the Fuhrati Dynasty through the Treaty of Ghara, an act of union that saw his state, the Sultanate of Merkat, merge with and consume the dozen smaller kingdoms and states upon the continent of Aidna.  

Rise


The Dynasty that would bring the empire into being, the House of Fuhrati, was founded in the year 92 B. S. by the self appointed King Thabit Fahri, after his conquest of vast swathes of the Southern coastal regions of the continent.   His methodology was one that would be carried on by his descendants, marrying a professional and politically loyal military force to shrewd diplomatic negotiations that leveraged its powerful position to achieve its imperial aims, expanding its influence over its lesser neighbours.   A significant tool in the Dynasty's arsenal was its mighty maritime capability, both in the form of a vast merchant fleet which plied the Warp and 12 Worlds bringing vast treasures back home, and the pseudo-navy force that would be known as the Corsairs. This collection of privateers working in the Dynasty's employ served not just as a coastal patrol force, but as the chief means through which the Fuhrati Lords could coerce and bully it's competition, burning down its rival's ports and harbours and enslaving their people.   In more civilian terms, the dynasty expanded its political tendrils throughout Aidna deeply and quickly, leveraging its powerful economic position as the chief controller of trade and commerce across and beyond the region. In played an active role in the court politics of foreign lands, while it's strict hierarchy and sense of internal loyalty hindered foreign attempts to sow dissent, even as the Dynasty backed foreign Lords more amicable to its goals.   Eventually, the decades of machinations and secretive conspiracies would come to a head.  

Ways


A vast, powerful, and wealthy empire the Fuhrati dynasty may have built, it was one on a shaky foundation at the best of times.   The fragile coalition of polities that still saw themselves as states that was the Fuhrati Empire throughout its reign struggled heavily to reconcile the contradicting realities of absolute imperial authority and the demands of the lesser powers. The battle between imperial centralists, mostly the senior branches of the Fuhrati Dynasty in its early days, who demanded ever greater imperial rule, and the devolutionary supporting members of the entrenched ruling classes of its subordinate states would be a key fixture of Fuhrati politics through its existence.   The issue was not at all eased by the creation, and steady growth, of a new, centralised bureaucratic establishment by the Empire's 3rd sovereign, Emperor Hisham, in order to help administer his rule. Called the Aladara, it was also meant to act as a counterweight to the substantial political authority of those lesser courts, subverting their own political institutions and offering a direct path of control from the heights of the imperial court to the lowest town or village leadership. However, these administrative offices, granted great powers and little oversight by their creators, slowly grew into their own institutional establishments which worked as much for themselves as for their lords.   To counteract its internal divisions of power, the Fuhrati Dynasty adopted two broad courses of action. On the one hand, it arranged for the appointment of senior members of its House to various important administrative positions, counting more on their loyalty than those of professional civil servants, and on the other, it sought to ensure the absolute reliance on the part of those still alien authorities on itself to maintain their power and positions.  
The Slaver State
The most prevalent, and most horrific, way they went about the latter track, was through the "gifting" of vast slave estates and their associated infrastructure to local rulers and dynasties. Built on the back of the Empire's Corsairs bringing home masses of slaves from across the 12 Worlds, these massive estates, often numbering in the thousands of slaves, were a source of vast treasures for those lucky enough to have them,and lucky enough to maintain the steady supply of slaves needed to run them.   The Fuhrati Dynasty, in securing its monopoly on that precious Commodity of human life, thus secured its seat of power. At its peak, just before the United Commonwealth reinforced its efforts to break the slave trade, the total number of slaves in the vast estates of Fuhrati numbered some 5 million souls, many just the latest in long lineages of slave families forced into bondage.  
Rule Of Force
The "Army" of the Fuhrati Empire is something hard to grasp, seeing as in any true sense no such organisation could truly be said to exist.   Instead, in another case of the splintered and convoluted nature of the empire, military forces were organised along regional, localised militias that acted in accordance with their local provincial rulers' design, and which were called upon in times of need by the imperial court. Honed by decades of fierce fighting to build the very empire they now served, the armies under oath to the Fuhrati Dynasty itself were doubtlessly the best trained, led, and equipped, though the same could not be said of many local garrison forces.  
Sea Power
When it came to the maritime domain, power was divided into two distinct, often competing, organisations.   The first, and oldest, were the Corsairs. Drawing their name and traditions from the raiders of times long past, they maintained their loose and informal roots, less a fleet or armed service and more a collection of privateers and particularly violent merchants, unemder the direct rule and employ of house Fuhrati. They numbered in the hundreds of ship, and dozens of bases and hideaways scattered across the 12 Worlds, from where they raided and pillaged the high seas of any who dared challenge the Fuhrati state, and kidnapped, transported, and sold thousands of the slaves that toiled in the Empire.   Oh the other hand, lay the formal Imperial Navy. Unlike the Corsairs, or the Army for that matter, the Navy was a far more centralised, bureaucratic, and professional force. Instead of being stocked by semi-conscripted peasents and led by nobles' sons with purchased commissions, or having their leadership decided through duels, bets, and wagers, the Navy would grow into its own, on its own. With imperial focus more directed on their storied, legendary, politically powerful Corsairs, the Navy was reduced to a coastal defensive force, purely keeping to the home or near abroad waters.   Still, its relative isolation from court politics left it with a distinct, independent streak, and one not easily broken. It would accumulate power and prestige in its own way, yet maintained an arms length distance from dynastic attempts at its Throne.      

Fall


The Fuhrati Empire, for all its power, might, violence, and excess, would eventually fall, its forces annihilated in battle, its dynasty murdered or escaped, and its institutions shattered. Upon its corpse, the banner of the United Commonwealth would fly, as would the successor state it crafted to take the fallen empire's place, the Republic of Swatili.      
Cracks Within
Some of the earliest signs of the Empire's impending struggles came from a family feud.   As the empire trundled on through the decades, the nature of its dynastic rule changed with the times. In its later years, what developed was different strands and lineages within the greater house of Fuhrati, each of which was effectively assigned its own little slice of power. The lineages would fight and squabble and vie to expand their little kingdoms, as would the lesser nobles outside the Fuhrati House, but the central line, which drew its ancestry straight from King Tharit Fahri himself, kept a close hand to ensure it never threatened Central rule.   However, it should have been obvious that this would not last. In particularly, two sets of fiefdom would come to the fore as the greatest threats to imperial hegemony. They were the Amari line, which held the bureaucracy of government, and the Dawud line, which held dominion over the province of Upepwani.   Of the two, the descendants of Prince Amari were decidedly more violent. In the days when the empire was still a young one, he and his brothers, the nephews of the first king, were among the most brazen in their hunt for power. While he would not add any vast provinces or estates to his name, he successfully courted favour among his more senior dynastic family. When the time came for the fullest extent of central, imperial control to finally be exerted, they stepped in before the throne to offer their services in the new offices of state, as nepotistic as it was. There, they would lay, their wealth and prestige ever growing. Though they would institute a number of modernising reforms, and in many ways isolated the bureaucratic government from family squabbles and imperial whims, they were no saints. Though there were faint whispers of more liberal streaks in the line of Amari, they were, for the most part, every bit as cut-throat and greedy as their family members, harnessing their great powers to their own benefit, and that of the imperial patrons who let them do so. And yet, with their growing influence and autonomy in decision making, the question of how they would weigh those interests would only grow with it.   The scions of Prince Dawid, however, were of a different sort altogether. With their founder the favoured son of Sultan Haroon himself, and fairly popular for his charitable contributions to the people he ruled, his kindness would be his, and his descendants, downfall.   When the time came for the legions of Fuhrati to stake their claim upon their empire, he as among the small minority who opposed the conquest, violence, and slavery his brethren were only too willing to unleash. For his crimes of opposition only old favours, familial loyalty, and shrewd politics would let him keep his power, and his head. He and his descendants would be effectively exiled to the far away, backwater province of Upepwani, free to run it as they wished for as long as the gold and silver flowed into the imperial coffers.   And so they did. Their ostracization from the imperial courts, at first a tool to prevent them gaining in strength and allies at home, became the key to the autonomy in political and economic affairs they would soon acquire. Leveraging what little good faith they still had with the court, they received if not the blessing, than the assent, to initiate such reforms as the banning of the keeping, buying, or selling of slaves in the province, as well as the right to declare free any slave who escaped to their lands. Many reforms took place in the provinces political system, in particular with regards to some degree of democratically elected offices at various levels of government, and the creation of an independent judiciary.   Accompanying their growing distancing from the Empire they served, was a tightening of bonds between them and the outside world. Independent from imperial diplomacy, they pursued their own track of diplomatic relations, though most foreign states recidginsed their subservient position. Still, of all their connections and bonds across the 12 Worlds, one would have a particularly great effect.  
Shocks Without
If one is to talk of the Fuhrati Empire, one would have to mention its greatest rival; The United Commonwealth. The two pollities were alike, in many ways. Both were, at first at least, more loosely aligned states and peoples rather than monolithic powers in their own right, though the Fuhratis accomplished milestone first. Both juggled the competing interests and wishes of diverse groups and factions across all levels of politics, and both would struggle to make their diametrically opposed selves function as a whole. Their diferences, though, were far greater.   The Fuhrati state had already grown into itself by the time the UC came to be. While the latter did its best to work off agreements and consent, the Fuhrati dynasty built and kept its empire with blood and chains. They practiced, at an ever growing scale, slavery and piracy, to keep and grow their wealth and power, and the Commowealth abhors few things as much as those acts, as deeply sunk into the ideals of democratic freedom as it is. So, it was rather inevitable that the two great powers would come to blows.   The first moves were small, barely noticed pinpricks against Fuhrati rule. Diplomatic negotiations with third party states led to steady decreases in the success of the empire's export market, in exchange for the slashing of trade barriers with UC states, a sacrifice the politicy would have accepted anyways. Further wrangling led to the creation of a semi-united fromt against piracy, with the UC Navy at the vanguard of operations that spanned all 12 Worlds and the vastness of the Warp. While a task already on the Commonwealth bucket list, and many of its allies who rather valued a peaceful trading environment, the lossess suffered by the Corsairs, in both loot and ships, was rather well taken in the Admiralty.   Of course, the Fuhratis were furious at this blatant assault on their power, prestige, and most importantly, source of wealth. Yet even when under assault, the clique-ish leadership of the Corsairs refused any attempts at consolidation to face this new threat, and as rumours abounded of Corsair Captain's selling out rivals to pirate hunter fleets, the organisation was obviously not long for this world.   Economic embargoes, anti piracy and slavery patrols, and fierce geopolitical competition marked the first decades of Fuhrati-Commonwealth relations, though outright violence was kept off the table. This, however, was set to change.  
Chainbreaker
As the fierceness of the competition between the two powers grew, attitudes among their populace hardened against their rivals. In the Fuhrati Empire, a wave of imperialist nationalism swept the public conscious, very much supported by the imperial administration, who cast the UC as vile foreign invaders who denied them their right to power. In the United Commonwealth, outrage and sheer hate against the Fuhrati Empire mounted, as the human costs of that state's Slavery become evident and its knowledge widespread across the 12 Worlds.   The spark that lit the flame that would burn the Fuhrati state to the ground was the incursion, by Imperial forces, of the province of Upepwani. In an instant, the Fuhrati Court had shattered the uneasy balance of power in their empire that had lasted over half a century, and as the legions marched forth into battle the forces loyal to the Dawud line and its Liberal government met them in fierce battle.   The United Commonwealth was, by then, well aware of the Empire's intentions. Two Army regiments and a battalion of Marines had already been dispatched to Upepwani in secret, in hopes of stabilising the region and making space for negotiations, and warning had been given to Upepwani leaders to give them time to prepare as they wished.   Yet, it was not enough. Word arrived from the Upepwani government telling the expeditionary force's commander that the Invasion had begun and, not waiting for further orders from Commonwealth Central, Lieutenant General Ismail Usman launched his forces straight into harms way, annihilating the Imperial vanguard in a bloody pitched battle and securing the continued existence of the Upepwani state.   This act was a shock to all parties, and made certain that they were now on the warpath. The United Commonwealth had expected some form of action to commence before it could provide direct instructions to its leaders in the field, however, and was prepared to take the road to war. With the Upepwani government picking itself back together and embroiled in a crisis of governance, and the Fuhrati leadership stunned at the war they had found themselves fighting, the United Commonwealth quickly organised and dispatched follow on forces, and sent signals to General Ismail to take all measures needed to protect the sovereignty and territory of Upepwani.   They were now at war.      

After

The Chainbreaker War, as the ensuing conflict would be called, lasted for some 5 years from 58 to 63 A.S. A violent and bloody conflict that would leave some 3 million dead by the time it ended, it left the once proud, mighty empire a shattered old corpse with foreign armies in its lands and foreign leaders deciding its fate.   The first step, already agreed upon by the United Commonwealth victors and their Upepwani allies, was the creation of the new Republic of Swatili, a democratic, Liberal, and UC aligned ttate that would take the Fuhrati empire's place as Sovereign of those lands. The new government was formed mostly of officials from the previous Upepwani government, and had its seat in the Upepwani capital of Kijahari.  
The New Order
With a new government, came a need to decide the fate of the old. The Aladara, the byzantine collection of administrative offices and government functions, had attempted to distance itself from the imperial court in the Empire's dying days, and in the ensuing political breakdown they preceded srrender the administration effectively turned against its overlords. Yet, when the time came to create a new state and political establishment to replace the old, the United Commonwealth wished to have a fresh start, without relying on the old political elites and institutions it seemed inherently immoral and dubiously reliable.   The sweeping changes that would come in the teething years of the new state were many, varied, and often bloody   Renegade aristocrats clinging on to slave estates with force of arms took another decade to root out, escaped imperial nobility were being hunted down yet another, and the presence of politically charged militant factions throughout the fallen empire would be a ghorn in the new government's, and the United Commonwealth', side for the better part of the next century.   And yet, the empire was dead. Its Sultan was buried and long gone, its slaves freed from their shackles and its people free to decide their new fate. The Swatili state would grow to vast heights unthinkable for its predecessor and founders, and a prosperous future awaited its people. The journey that lay ahead would not be an easy one, but it would lead them to create a better world than they inherited.

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  • 92 B.S.

    8 /8

    The Great King
    Founding

    On this Day, the 8th Day of the 8th Month, the High and the Great Thabit Fahri, is declared as Sovereign of this Kingdom, and the first of the Fuhrati.
      This message, inscribed into the great stone plaque set into the floor of the Imperial Palace, marked the day the Fuhrati line came to be.   King Fahri, the Conqueror of the Swalit and the Rider of Merkat, declared his rule over the new Sultanate of Merkat, which he had forged through bloody the conquests of any who lay before him.

  • 50 B.S.


    Bound By Fate
    Founding

    Though the Fuhrati Dynasty had been snaking its tendrils into the politics of Aidna for decades by then, its efforts began to grow towards a far greater aim than the status of a mere major player. Slowly and steadily, through marriage and murder, the thrones and courts of its neighbours were soon filled with leaders more receptive to a close relationship with the rising empire.   Matters came to a head in 54 B. S., when the Crown Prince and heir apparent to the Fuhrati ally of the Kingdom of Haiwang, was assassinated by members of the ever growing local revolutionary bodies. To preserve their collective sovereigns and authority, the Kingdom called on its allies to help it suppress such dissent, which had only grown in scale and violence in the wake of the assassin's success, and martyrdom in a royal prison.   Merkat, with its cadre of politically reliable and well trained troops, led the operation, during which nearly every home of every village in the kingdom was raided and searched, and thousands were rounded up and detained.   Leveraging its ally's dire straits, the Fuhrati sovereign at the time, Sultan Haroon II, surged his legions into their territory, and meant to keep them there. Pointing to the ever growing risk of a violent revolution removing their crows from their heads, and heads from their bodies, he convinced his fellow monarchs to come within the aegis of the Fuhrati Dynasty, and to combine their efforts and powers for mutual benefit.   And so, the great Kings and ministers came to the seat of the imperial court, the bustling metropolis of Ghara to sign the treaty take that secure their heads and thrones, at the cost of their sovereign powers.   And the Fuhrati Empire, would be born.

  • 58 A.S.

    63 A.S.


    The Chainbreaker War
    Military: War

    What started as an incursion by imperial forces to maintain their grip on a renegade province, soon turned into an all out war between the United Commonwealth and the Fuhrati Empire.   Lasting 5 years, the Chainbreaker Wars, as they would be remembered as, saw vast changes in how war was caught, seeing the earliest employment en masses of aviation, mechanisation, and the waging of war on an industrial scale.   When all was set and done, 3 million souls would lay dead across the 12 Worlds and the Warp. The political landscape of the 12 Worlds was forever shaken, as one great power fell, and another took its place.   The war would be remembered as the war that truly made the United Commonwealth, the sacrifices and victories those of its united peoples, brought together forever into a common cause. The armed forces would cut their teeth in this conflict, and the civilian government would tookdo the same when rebuilding after it. The nature the ways, the very identity of the United Commonwealth, would be forged in the fires and ashes of this war.

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