Uzur of Ili, Emperor of India: Part 11: 806: Interview with Khan who reformed Tengri faith

* Q: Wasn't this supposed to be India campaign? India is the other way
* A: It was meant to be tribal and India campaign, if I meant it to just be India, I'd start in India.

* Q: So when is it going to India?
* A: As soon as I become Saoshyant, the chosen savior of the world, I'll start great holy war upon one of Indian kingdoms and go on from there.

* Q: Saoshyant? That's some Zoroastrian thing? Didn't you just reform the Tengri faith.
* A: Gods work in mysterious ways.

* Q: It's about one of your sisters, isn't it?
* A: I doubt I'll make it, but I have 5 daughters, and my son might be interested...

* Q: OK, no more questions about incest, I actually don't want to know. Didn't you say something about being emperor of India as a Jain or a Buddhist? You reformed Tengri faith, and now you're talking about becoming Saoshyant, how does that even work?
* A: Gods work in very mysterious ways.

* Q: OK, so when are you invading Persia?
* A: There are two things stopping me - first Abbasids are far stronger than I expected, so either they need to get a lot weaker, or I need to get a lot more powerful, or both. Second, Persia would mean huge amount of feudal territory to manage, and that wouldn't be very practical for a feudal ruler, so I'd like to go feudal on day of my conquest of Persia.

* Q: How powerful is the Abbasid Caliph exactly?
* A: 2nd to 4th most powerful countries are three about equally strong empires - Umayyad's Sunni Empire of Hispania, Karling's Catholic Empire of Francia, and Isauros's Orthodox Byzantine Empire. Abbasid Caliph is stronger than any two of them put together, and I'm not even sure who would win a 3-vs-1, if that somehow came to happen.

* Q: And Khanate of Cumania and Khiva?
* A: It looks big on the map, but it's sparsely populated, poor, and underdeveloped. It would not stand a chance.

* Q: Does the Caliph even have any weaknesses?
* A: He can't increase crown authority past medium at his current technology level, and he won't be getting holy orders unless someone of another faith conquers Baghdad (that's part of Saoshyant plan), Damascus, Cairo, Jerusalem, or Mecca, or very long time passes.

* Q: And speaking of your realm, how far are you from going feudal anyway?
* A: I need stone hillforts (level 4) in at least my demesne. So far my entire realm has 2 wooden hillforts (level 2), about a dozen earth hillforts (level 1), and assortment of market villages and barracks I also wouldn't mind upgrading while I'm at it. It doesn't help that with elective gavelkind I don't really know what my demesne is going to be, so I need to spread upgrades among everything held by my family.

* Q: How much would that cost?
* A: Even very limited feudalization, at least 10,000 gold. Building all cities, temples, castle towns, and so on, even to Khiva's level (and far below what they have in Byzantium, Persia, or India) more like 100,000 gold.

* Q: So, more raiding then?
* A: My experience with raiding the Caliph has been mixed so far, and Southern border is now fairly straight, restricting raiding opportunities. Expanding further towards India for new raiding grounds could work, but these lands tend to be well fortified, and difficult to sack for loot and prisoners. Raiders can of course steal some cattle and whatever wasn't locked behind walls and get out fast, but that's not worth as much.

* Q: Would some feudal taxes help?
* A: Somewhat, but I don't want to tax my feudal subjects (2 duke brothers, and 1 almost-duke) too much, as Khiva is also underdeveloped, and I'd prefer if they spent money on fortifications in case Caliph decides to attack.

* Q: Any other sources of gold?
* A: That Zoroastrian uprising with 300 of Jew gold was literally God-sent... sorry for the pun. Situation is not desperate, so I don't expect any more bankruptcies, but we lack funds for investment, and any kind of development aid is welcome.

* Q: Is that the only problem?
* A: I wish. Even if we looted all the gold in the world, very few provinces in the tribal parts my realm have technology necessary to build reinforced hillforts (level 3) and stone hillforts (level 4) - and without high chiefs in charge, spread of technology is very slow. I'd also like level 3 legalism to adopt high crown authority, or realm would be weaker after feudalization than it was before, fortunately at least that is only required in my capital. Of course with very high legalism and majesty we would love to establish imperial administration like the Byzantines, but that's getting really far ahead.

* Q: Coming back to reforming Tengri faith. How does that help?
* A: It helps with realm stability a lot, removing -10 opinion penalty from unreformed Pagan vassals they'd otherwise have at medium tribal organization (would be up to -30 at absolute, but I won't be going there anytime soon), and reducing short reign penalty by about a third.

* Q: Was there any backlash?
* A: Much less than I expected. Almost every Tengri ruler within as well as outside my realm converted, including the Khazar Khan.

* Q: Does it help with further expansion too?
* A: It grants duchy level holy war CB against nearby Suomenusko and Slavic Pagans (as well as Old Tengri, but there aren't many around, and more remote Pagan). It's still not a happy direction to expand, as I have no protection against Arctic winters, on top of their Pagan homeland penalty. In due time (mtth 3 years) holy order Lords of the Sky is expected to get organized, that would definitely help in case Caliph decided to attack me, but I'm not sure if that would be enough.

* Q: And the final question, Gods forbid anything were to happen to you, who would be the next Khan of Cumania and Khiva?
* A: Chiefs don't agree with my choice of my brother Kotyan, instead preferring my younger brother Ituk, duke of Khiva. He's currently feudal, but inheriting tribal title would force him to go back to tribal ways. It's not an entirely unreasonable choice, even if I hope for Gods to bless me with a son before I die.

* Q: Thank you again for your time. Would you be willing to answer questions from the audience?
* A: Of course. What would they like to ask me?
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