Arslan of Ili, Emperor of India: Part 5: 782-785: Khan of Cumania

My court Persian who knows how to do numbers told me that it would take about 100,000 gold to turn lands I'm lord of into a serious kingdom like the ones in the South.

This is bad, as yearly income from my demesne is only 8.2, so it would take 600 generations to get there. It's not quite as bad as it seems since:

* My vassals have some incomes of their own
* My income will generally increase as I move closer to feudal model
* There's some amount of looting possible in two neighbouring counties of Khiva - Fergana and Oshrusana, so even now I'll be making more than 8.2/year

But it's still not a viable plan. Subjugating Magyars, Khazaria, or Turkestan would give me access to move lootable territory, but that's not the kind of war I can currently explain to my subjects.

That leaves me with just two options:
* Conquer some territory in Khiva to expand my border with settled people, use money from that to create proper feudal kingdom
* Conquer some territory in Khiva and just migrate to India, dividing family lands between settled lands to the South and tribal lands to the North

In theory a third way would be to fabricate claim on third Tengri holy site, then start a series of holy wars, but I don't even have money to pay for that fabrication without first moving against Khiva.

I organized another round of raids to recover some treasury, while my vassals dealt with chief Erza of Pecheneg and Inder who refused our legitimate call to relinquish one of his chiefdoms. He was helped by high chief of Crimea - a minor independent ruler also of Ashina dynasty.

Meanwhile second of Ashina counts refused similar offer - this time getting help from king of Khazaria, so I had to send my troops as well, my vassals would probably not be enough (they had numbers, but not a shred of coordination); and third of them got caught plotting murder (of another Ashina, so I could let it pass, but plotting murder is plotting murder), so I tried to arrest him, failed, and had another revolt at hand.

As I had no more sons, I couldn't give each tribe to independent chief for silly vassal limit reasons, and I didn't really want strong non-dynastic vassals, I matrilinearly two of my daughers to content boys of similar age, and divided lands of the traitors between them. One of the boys then turned out to be homosexual... I guess at least he won't be whoring bastards on the side, and hopefully will have enough sense of duty to give his wife a son. We're a tolerant society here. There's so many things which could go wrong here, so if even one of the two ends up being inherited by a child of my dynasty I'll call it success.

The raids and fights against rebels resulted in dual success - not only I'm now a Khan of Cumania (spending nearly all the money on the title - a fairly bad idea as in my position I really ought to keep significant reserve), and I managed to expel Ashinas from my realm - none of my vassals now has any foreign allies.

I also have ton of prestige, so between tribal army I could call, my demesne troops, and my vassals I could call the second largest army in the world after Abbasids. It wouldn't be particularly good army - uncoordinated, spread over very large area, mostly light infantry, and I wouldn't be able to pay them for long, bat that's something.

The "county conquest Oshrusana as soon as I'm done looting" plan failed as quickly as it was conceived - first Khan of Khazaria sided with traitor vassals against me, so I had to move my troops West, and simultaneously emir of Khiva declared holy war on Manichean Oshrusana.

I could declare invasion of Khiva. Its success mostly depends on question if Abbasid Caliph would join against me - he currently faces no revolts, and is at 0% decadence (like every other major Muslim ruler, apparently the patch fucked up decadence again, this time in "too easy" direction - it was never balanced in any patch, the only question was which way it would go). At least he's 71, so there's some hope he'll die soon plunging his caliphate into civil war, and letting me expand South freely.
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