|Great Khan and Khagan of All Jelbics|
Emperor of the Augustans
|Reign||November 21st, 3637 - July 6th, 3645|
|Predecessor||none, office created|
|Born||January 6, 3591|
|Died||July 6th, 3645|
|Spouse||11 Jelbek princesses|
Temrkai Khan (Brmek: تمرقی حان, Jelbek: Темркай Хән, Temrkai H'án; Augustan: Τεμρκαι Χανο, Temrkaj Ĥano), born Nikandro Heraklito (Augustan: Νικανδρο Ἑρακλιτο), was a military and political leader, creator of an Empire ruled by his Black Horde as a result of Temrkai's conquest of Barmenistan, Jelbania and Zardugal. Temrkai was initially the Augustan Empire's Domestic of the North and the commander of the Imperial Augustan Army's Army of the North, being the officer in charge of planning and conducting the invasion of Jelbania and Barmenistan in the Augustan-Jelbanian War and the Barmenistan-Vanuku War, until he revolted against the Empire's decision to end the Augustan invasion of Barmenistan in 3637. Temrkai then became an independent warlord, continuing his conquest of Barmenistan and using Jelbania as his political and military power-base. In November 3637, his rule over Barmenistan and Jelbania was legitimized when he was proclaimed Great Khan and Khagan of all Jelbics by a Great Kurultai in Jelbania, and in 3638 Temrkai initiated the invasion of the Augustan Empire, which ended in March 3642 with the surrender of the Imperial Augustan Army and the recognition of Temrkai as Augustan Emperor. His Empire collapsed with his death in 3645 and his Black Horde disintegrated into fighting between his former generals and governors.
Nikandro Heraklito was born in January 3591 to an Augustan family in Belgae, the capital of the Royal Federation of Zardugal. Soon after its creation in 3610, Nikandro joined the Imperial Augustan Army within its Army of the North, mainly consisting of the former Zardic Armed Forces. Over the next ten years, Nikandro proved himself an intelligent and highly disciplined soldier, and on April 12, 3623, he was named Domestic of the North by Grand Domestic Hilario Ejrenajo.
Conquest of JelbaniaEdit
Two years after Nikandro Heraklito's appointment as Domestic of the North the Augustan-Jelbanian War started with a Jelbanian declaration of war against the Augustan Empire. After two years of "phony war", Jelbania invaded Zardugal in 3627. Domestic Heraklito, as the leader of the Empire's largest army, was given the task of commanding the Augustan counter-invasion, while the Army of the South was tasked with repelling the Jelbanian troops in Zardugal. The Army of the North managed to defeat the Jelbanian forces in a series of battles, all of which were victories for Domestic Heraklito. During the war Heraklito also proved his diplomatic and political skills; using vast financial resources and the diplomatic expertise of Laurenio Casoteo, the head of the Empire's Diplomatic Corps in Jelbania, Heraklito managed to persuade many of the Jelbek Clans to end their support for the Hesn Ornklarz regime and to support the Augustan invasion of Jelbania instead. In early 3633 Jelbania capitulated to the Army of the North, and Nikandro Heraklito became the unofficial ruler of Jelbania; the signing of the peace treaty was celebrated with a mass wedding between Augustan soldiers and Jelbek women, during which Heraklito married 11 princesses of the most prominent Jelbek Clans.
Conquest of BarmenistanEdit
The start of the Augustan-Jelbanian war coincided with the Barmenistan-Vanuku war, whereby Barmenistan, taking advantage of Jelbania's inability to act, invaded Vanuku in an attempt to re-create the March of Vanuku. After the fall of Jelbania to the Army of the North, Vanuku entered an alliance with the Augustan Empire, requesting assistance against Barmenistan. Nikandro Heraklito was again tasked to lead the Army of the North to war, and after quickly repelling the invading Barmenistan forces from Vanuku, Heraklito began the invasion of Barmenistan.
Revolt against Augustan EmpireEdit
With nearly half of Barmenistan occupied by the Army of the North, Princess Dina, the heir to the Barmenian throne, negotiated a ceasefire agreement with Emperor Theodosio. The Augustan establishment, concerned with the increase in Heraklito's power, recalled him from Barmenistan. Heraklito however refused to end the invasion of Barmenistan, disobeying the direct order from the Augustan Emperor. Heraklito was then tried in absentia by a military tribunal and was sentenced to death; in response, Heraklito renounced all allegiance to the Augustan Empire, took on the Jelbic name Temrkai (meaning "Man of Iron"), converted to Ahmadism, and reformed the Army of the North into the Black Horde. In January 3637 Barmenistan capitulated to Temrkai and officially acknowledged him as its overlord.
In November 3637 a Great Kurultai, formed of clan chiefs and political leaders from throughout the Jelbic world, proclaimed Temrkai as the Great Khan and Khagan of all Jelbics, founding the Jelbic Khaganate. With Barmenistan and Jelbania firmly under his rule and with Vanuku as a close ally, Temrkai could now focus his attention on the Augustan Empire, and in 3638 the Black Horde began an invasion of the Empire in a conflict known as Temrkai's War.
Conquest of ZardugalEdit
Using the disciplined and experienced troops in the Black Horde, Temrkai Khan was able to conquer all of Zardugal within five years, in spite of the numerical inferiority compared to the Imperial Augustan Army. The conquest of Zardugal was notable for its brutality and mass destruction, with an estimated 2.5 million civilians killed or wounded and the cities of Belgae, Zardopolo, Kostandian Bay, and Sebastopolo reduced to ruins. The Black Horde's advance into Augustan territory was halted after its defeat in the Battle of Augusta, prompting the signing of the Treaty of Sebasto, which recognized Temrkai's conquest of Zardugal and granted him the title of Emperor of the Augustans.
Temrkai died in July 3645 due to an undiagnosed disease, after an unsuccessful attempt by his medical staff to save his life. Even during his last days Temrkai Khan is said to have been planning to expand his conquests by invading Pontesi, Beiteynu, and Deltaria. With his death his empire crumbled, as without a designated successor his generals fought amongst themselves, plunging Majatra into a new civil war that saw the disintegration of the Black Horde.
Although Temrkai's Empire was short-lived, his conquests and his defeat of the Augustan Empire made him a national hero for the Jelbic peoples, in spite of his Augustan ethnicity. Temrkai's name and heritage would be claimed by numerous Jelbic movements calling for a unification of the Jelbic world. The House of Temrkai-Mede that ruled Barmenistan and Jelbania after the disintegration of Temrkai's Empire claims direct descent from Temrkai Khan, via Princess Dina of House Mede, the Khan's concubine after his conquest of Barmenistan. Moreover, Temrkai Khan's conquests are the origin of the (unrecognized) Jelbanian claims to the thrones of Barmenistan, Vanuku, and Zardugal, most notably claimed under the reign of Temrkai II, who shared the name of his illustrious predecessor. Temrkai's heritage was later claimed by the Empire of the Jelbic Peoples, founded in 3777 under Khagan Laurens-Wrntukai, a descendant of Temrkai on the maternal side.
On the other hand, Temrkai's legacy is very controversial. The brutality of his conquest of Barmenistan and Zardugal and his massacre of unarmed civilians and destruction of cities have earned him much criticism. Temrkai is particularly hated in Zardugal and Cobura, where he is seen as a traitor to the Augustan Empire and as a barbaric warlord. In Vanuku however Temrkai is seen as a hero and saviour of Vanuku, going as far as having his own holiday on January 6th which is Temrkai's date of birth.