FANDOM


The Four Red Centuries (1486 C.E. and 1850 C.E) is a period in Jelbek history which was marked by endless internecine strife, natural disasters and seemingly never ending military confrontation between the Jelbek clans. It followed the collapse of the Ahmadi Caliphate in 1486 and ended at the unification of Jelbania after 1850.

BackgroundEdit

Wikiquote-logo-15px
«The heathen Khans kept the steppe united and meted out justice to troublemakers and rebels. They kept many of their neighbours in thralldom for they greatly feared the might of the Jelbek archers.»
(Abu Bakr al-Bashir - The History of the Wolf Nation.)


Jelbania had been unified between 607 and 620 by the conqueror Grzkai 'One Eye' forming the First Jelbek Khanate. The Khanate lasted for 377 years, expiring in 997 when Khan Grzkai the Last was slain in battle by Tokundian invaders. Tokundian rule, heavy handed and extortionist, lasted for 251 years till 1248 when the Ahmadi Caliphate conquered the Khanate. The country was ruled by a Khedive appointed by the Caliph and Ahmadi rule fell relatively lightly on the Jelbeks compared to Tokundian rule.

Jelbeks4rc

The 1486 rebellion

Wikiquote-logo-15px
«The successor to the successor (Caliph) expended much strength and treasure on fighting his enemies at home, ignoring the stirring of the Jelbeks»
(Abu Bakr al-Bashir - The History of the Wolf Nation.)


In 1486 taking advantage of the Caliphate's growing weakness and strife, the Jelbek clans successfully rebelled against Ahmadist rule. The troubles began after that. The male line of the House of Grzkai had died out sometime in the early 15th century at the orders of a particularly paranoid and cruel Caliph who ordered the massacre of all males of the Grzkai line. Many of the then 43 clans were descended from the earlier Khans matrilineally. Many of those clans pressed their own claim to the throne of the newly independent Khanate and soon the debate turned violent. 

The 'One Thousand' KhanatesEdit

Wikiquote-logo-15px
«The old kingdom of the heathen Khans melted away into a thousand little pieces.»
(Abu Bakr al-Bashir - The History of the Wolf Nation.)


The newly independent Khanate quickly collapsed into civil war. The greatest of the clans carved up large portions of the Khanate and each declared themselves the true heirs to the first Khanate. Majatrans in the south east created their own little emirates as well. Dissuwans were not to be left out and created their own statelets too. Historians estimate that more than 30 states existed over the territory now known as Jelbania. The 19th century historian Abubakr al-Bashir is the one who popularised 'one thousand Khanates' statement when talking of the Four Red Centuries.

Natural DisastersEdit

Wikiquote-logo-15px
«Displeased at the endless wars and violence of the wolves, Akim, much enraged, visited many plagues upon the wolf nation.»
(Abu Bakr al-Bashir - The History of the Wolf Nation.)


Drought

The dried out steppe

As if war and civil strife were not enough, a number of natural disasters worsened the situation considerably. A long drought struck Jelbania between 1507 and 1525. The then almost entirely agrarian economy collapsed and legend had it that Lake Majatra dried up. Lake Majatra itself assaulted the Jelbek lands as part of the great floods of 1531. Thousands of Jelbeks lost their lives. Drought returned again in 1612 and in 1687, lasting for several each time. Many of these calamities were seen as of divine sanction and at times resulted in temporary truces.

InvasionsEdit

Wikiquote-logo-15px
«Akim reserved a generous care for the wolves and preserved them still, even as invaders rode in from every direction. The fierceness of the wolves' cavalry archers and hatred of oppressive foreigners were a potent mix.»
(Abu Bakr al-Bashir - The History of the Wolf Nation.)


Several invasions were attempted by neighbouring powers who sought to take advantage of the strife in Jelbania. The first was in 1488 as the Caliphate sought to reimpose its authority. Most of the Jelbek clans often united to throw out each invader and would then return to fighting each other.

Appearance of ArtaniansEdit

Wikiquote-logo-15px
«The first ones to appear on the north coast claimed to be lost sailors but the wolves could see the malice and avarice in their eyes.»
(Abu Bakr al-Bashir - The History of the Wolf Nation.)


Jelbaniensarival

The arrival of the Jelbaniens c.1490

Artanians (Jelbaniens) are believed to have first appeared in Jelbania from the north eastern coast in the late 15th century. They occupied many of the old Qedarite fortresses in coastal Rilmos. The Artanians traded with the Jelbeks, exchanging cloth for horses. As Artanians marched west, infiltrating Jelbek territory, they interfered in the wars and often installed puppet rulers in the various statelets. Later on they invited several Majatrans from neighbouring countries to settle in Jelbania hoping to create a stronger non-Jelbek support base.

The End of StrifeEdit

Wikiquote-logo-15px
«Unity, like the summer rain, fell over the steppe, coming back at last. Alas it came from the hands of the extortionist foreigners and their wicked lackeys who sought only to exploit the wolves some more.»
(Abu Bakr al-Bashir - The History of the Wolf Nation.)


By 1850 as much as two thirds of modern day Jelbania was under the hegemony or direct rule of the Jelbaniens. They sought to unify the country into a state and this happened by the late 19th century, with the last statelets submitting in the middle of the 20th century. Resistance was less, given the large number of Jelbeks who had adopted some Artanian customs and language. Jelbek culture was actively suppressed and only in the steppe, did the populace remember the old customs, language and history.

Historical Sources Edit

Most of the history of the era and that before it is sourced from the book the History of the Wolf Nation written by Abubakr al-Bashir from 1951 to 1963. al-Bashir was an Ahmadi cleric and scribe who emigrated to Jelbania in 1942 and fell in love with the country. He sourced much of his work from 'walking libraries' - Jelbek poets and praise singers who recited the history to him. Much of it is filled with fantastical elements and proven untruths but it remains the most valuable source of history for a largely preliterate era other than written sources from neighbouring countries. It covers the time period from the 1st century B.C.E. to 1950 C.E. 

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.