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Great State of the Bayarids
Ikh Bayar Uls
• 853 - 855
• 856 - 863
• 1135 - 1147
|Favored of the Khevtuul|
• 853 - 861
|Matron of the Quivers|
|Legislature||Order of the Lances|
• Military Assembly
|Assembled Lances of the Khan|
• Religious Assembly
|Assembled Temple of the Law|
• Tribal Confederation
• Election of the Great Khan Khaduur
The Bayarid Empire, also called the Great Bayar State and the Celestial Dominion of the Great Khans, was a land empire mostly in Ochran formed during the mid-ninth century under the leadership of Khaduur Khan and his father Tukal. The Bayarid forces were led by a series of visionary generals and bolstered by control of east-west trade, both of which contributed to the empire's status as the largest in history. The Bayarids entered their golden age swiftly, but their militant society and combative politics eventually led to their decline as the empire was broken into the White Horde, the Golden Horde, and many other break-aways and successors.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Politics and Government
- 4 Economy
- 5 Culture
Unification of the Tribes & Election of Khaduur
The so-called Bayarids were a relatively small Chorigtol-speaking population in the southwest of modern Chagadalai. The various tribes that would later be known as Bayarids were joined by a mythic heritage to the legendary hero, Bakhark of the Wind. The Bakharkic families, under the direction of the Arha (the priestly class of families), began to consolidate power in the region by supervising livestock trades with their neighbors. They earned a great deal of prestige from this position and fiercely attacked "black markets" which formed to avoid their stringent rules. The Arha Laws would form the basis of the new empire.
In the early 9th century, during the simultaneous chaos of the post-Guatama period and the decline of the Buminids in Central Ochran, the Bakharkic families began to lead large, expeditionary raids with adventurers from all across Chagadalai. The Bakharks became immensely wealthy from leading these expeditions as well as skilled, mounted tacticians. While they became the preeminent military commanders of the Bayarids, they were not universally accepted as leaders and would have to fight or negotiate for the control of their fellow Bayarids. It was only in the early 15th century that Tukal, nephew to the leading patriarch of the Bakharkic Arha, routed a force of the Mags and permanently tipped the scales in favor of the Bakharks.
Having secured, at least for a time, the support of the Bayarids, Tukal was entrusted with greater duties, including a campaign to the west. Several successive campaigns into the west made Tukal a power in his own right and, when he returned home, he conspired to have the patriarch replaced with his own son, Khaduur to lead the Bayarids. Under Tukal's careful control, Khaduur formalized the Arha Laws under the aegis of a council of tribal elders while Tukal undertook a massive restructuring the military and cleansed the upper ranks of his opponents. Once Tukal had completed his purge, his name vanishes from history, though it popularly thought that he continued to control the military on behalf of Khaduur.
Decline & Collapse
Politics and Government
The Bayarids followed a simple elective monarchy in which the descendants and relations of the former Khan would be eligible for appointment to the supreme office. While it was an absolute monarchy, there were many institutions that were outside of the direct control of the Khan which helped to sustain the empire after its expansive period. The most important body was the Assembled Lances, which was first composed of all military age, free men capable of bearing a lance and was responsible for the election of the Khan. Later, the Assembled Lances were only composed of a select few generals, nobles, and priests who lived in the capital as the military of the empire ballooned and included subject peoples.
The Great Khan's chief administrators were his wives and his female relatives. Since they were ineligible for many military honors and could not own a lance--an important political object for the Bayarids--women were considered essentially incorruptible. The Matron of the Quivers was typically the oldest or at least a senior member of the Khan's household and was responsible for the defense of the harem in times of war, especially maintains the supply of arrows and bows, which women were allowed to wield. The overall body of public administrators was first unnamed, since all of their work was done in the name of the Khan, but eventually had to be expanded along with the empire. The colloquial name "Office of Arrows" was popular, but the Khan always referred to his deputies as the Favored Concubinage.
There was officially no need for legislation or laws since the state was the embodiment of heaven and the laws of heaven, as passed through the generations orally by the priesthood, were eternal and unchanging. The high priests of the forty-five supreme spirits formed the Assembled Temple of the Law, which ensured that all decisions were in keeping with the natural law of the spirits. The Temple of the Law, sometimes called the House of Arha, acted as a constitutional oversight of the Khan's Office of Arrows and also was responsible for keeping the record of the lineage of heaven, which determined eligibility for election to the highest office.
The flow of goods across Ochran became the paramount interest of the Great Khans before their conquests were even close to completion. Once the empire reached the Sea of Karda, the most important interest in the flow of goods was the Chu River. With tributaries in Xi and ending in the Sea of Karda, the Chu River was a road unto itself as well as playing host to many roads along its banks. The Great Khan developed these roads, both for military and mercantile usage, and helped to develop river traffic as well. All boarding houses, inns, and hostels within site of the Chu River were tax-free to encourage traders to move their goods through the heart of the empire.
Dredging the river, paving sections of the roadway were considered important enough projects that local governors could reliably expect their tax burden to be partially or wholly forgiven if they appropriately maintains their pieces of the great network of the Jade Road.
Because of the enormous spread of the empire, the collection of taxes was an enormously costly endeavor which often ended in failure and while the Bayarids had their own approach to this problem, the imperial purse ultimately required some supplementation.
Shortly after reaching city of Sirik, the Great Khans arrested several prominent merchants and appropriated their wealth for use in the next campaign against the Shaddadids. This left the Great Khan in possession of seven large warehouses, which he expeditiously left under the command of one of his wives. While the Great Khan moved on to new conquests, his wife Altantsetseg reopened the warehouses to receive goods. When the Great Khan returned to Sirik, before he launched his next campaign against the Siverian Banate, he was surprised to find that Altantsetseg had accrued a substantial amount of gold and silk, primarily by burning down all the remaining warehouses of the city. Thus was born the Great Khan's monopoly on the operation of warehouses in seventeen key cities, most notably Sirik, Tara, and Maesan.
Warehousing became a de facto tax on trade along the Jade Road. Since most trade was only of intermediate distance between a few key redistribution sites, the control of warehouses in just a few cities allowed the Office of Arrows to effectively collect a premium on any bulk movement of goods across the empire. The most lucrative trade, of course, were shipments destined for distant Belisaria, which could be taxed several times along the route. Along with periodic oversight of goods being moved across the empire came the first inklings of economic theory in the empire.
Warehouse receipts developed into a currency of their own and were frequently exchanged for coin or goods in kind. Instead of sending currency from one end of the empire to other it was possible to use warehouse receipts in many transactions. The use of paper money was never universal--it was only available to the urban merchant and upper classes--and in-kind taxes remained dominant in the nomadic and rural agrarian communities that made up the bulk of the empire.