The Let's Play Archive

Al Andalus Paradox Mega-LP

by Hashim

Part 120: The Red Turban Migration

catlord posted:

I'm also curious about what's going on with the Red Turbans, I feel like there's a lot of story that could come from their conquest of Korea.

The Chronicles of the Red Turbans

The Most Noble and Eminent Red Turban State has a long and glorious history, one beset with daunting prospects and terrible reversals, but one that also clearly demonstrates the enduring sincerity of our cause. So great is the state and its leaders that it has existed in unbroken superiority since the dawn of the civilisation (more specifically, 1444), and will undoubtedly continue to thrive until the end of time.

To the surprise of many, however, it is my solemn duty to remind all that this was not always the case.

The first of the Red Turbans were cast under the vast shadow of the Great Mongol Empire, an empire that swept across the entirety of the world, ruled by the oppressive and violent Yuan Khans. The devout followers of the Prophet Mani kept faith, however, as they knew that not even an empire can stand against the might of God. And when it became clear that the Yuan had lost the Mandate of Heaven, it was the Manichaeic faithful who first picked up their swords and donned their red turbans, marching on Khanbaliq with the fury of Heaven behind them.

The rest, as they say, is history. With the conviction of God burning in their hearts and the holy cloth heavy on their heads, the Red Turbans toppled the greatest empire that ever was and will be, quickly storming across large tracts of land in China Proper as the Great Yuan collapsed quicker than a deck of cards, with the Khan himself fleeing his capital and escaping northward.

And thus, the Red Turban State was born.

This noble state, blessed by Heaven though it surely was, was not the only power to rise from the ashes of the Great Yuan. To the north, another mighty force arose in the Bajkal Horde, led by the genius strategist Uskhal. These Bajkali quickly overran much of the Steppes and North China, even defeating the mighty Kingdom of Joseon after a short war towards the end of 1460, forcing them to cede land and pay tribute to the new Great Khan.

With their humiliating defeat, the ancient Joseon collapsed to infighting and civil war, with the forces of darkness overcoming their hearts and minds. Not one to spurn such a rare opportunity, the clergy council ruling over the Red Turban State resolved to bring the light of Manichaeism to the peninsula, sending thousands of holy warriors across the Yellow Sea in the summer of 1480. The faithful easily crushed the weakened Joseon levies, before marching on the imperial capital at Hanseong and liberating the rich city.

Whilst the Red Turban Army were campaigning in Joseon, however, the Bajkali Horde had been amassing huge numbers of vicious steppe warriors. These barbarians stormed into the Red Turban State just as the winter of 1508 came to an end, quickly ravaging large stretches of Chinese land whilst Turban forces were trapped across the Yellow Sea.

By the time the holy warriors of Mani were ferried back across the sea, the Bajkali victory had been secured, with the clergy council presiding over the Red Turban State forced intp ceding some of its richest land, along with a pledge to pay annual tribute to the savages. To make matters worse, the traitorous Joseon took advantage of the chaos to recapture Hanseong - rightful Turban territory since time immemorial.

The short peace between civilisation and barbarity would not last, unfortunately, as the Bajkali came calling again less than a decade later. And this time, they did not stop until Nanjing was sacked and burning, slaughtering thousands of Manichaeic faithful and forcing the Red Turban Council to flee across the Yellow Sea. The presumptuous barbarians then donned the mantle of their betters and declared themselves the Great Feng - usurpers of Heaven.

The temporary loss of mainland territory did not damage the will of the faithful, however, as the Red Turbans conquered the Joseon stronghold of Jeonju and reestablished themselves in southern Korea.

The next few years were an era of survival, as the Manichaeic faithful fought wars on all fronts, rapidly expanding up the Korean peninsula and pushing westward on the mainland, anxious to defend the few territories it had left. All of these were defensive wars, of course, borne out of necessity. The religion of Mani abhorred violence and brutality of any kind.

And in the fateful year of 1568, Red Turban forces recaptured the city of Hanseong, proving to all the world its superiority and favour bestowed by Heaven. Of course, there were a few... setbacks on the mainland, but the Feng usurpers were simply occupying the land. The faithful would recapture it, once God and the forces of light so willed it.

And at the turn of the century, the beginning of the end began... for the vile barbarians, of course. The Great Feng found themselves dealing with a great insurrection of Han Chinese, with the self-declared Qi dynasty claiming the Mandate of Heaven for themselves. The Red Turbans pounced on the opportunity to declare on the Joseon once more, no longer fearful of drawing the ire of the Feng Emperors.

After besting the forces of the Great Feng on the battlefield, however, the Qi turned southward and attacked the city of Nanjing - under the control of the Red Turbans since the dawn of time. So far from their power-base in Korea, the Red Turbans could do nothing but watch as the great city capitulated to the usurpers. God would surely strike them down for their insolence.

The next three decades brought with them an era of great prosperity, as the borders of the Great Feng were pushed further and further north, allowing the Red Turban State to solidify its hold on the peninsula. The fall of the Feng brought with it a chaotic swarm of rebels and rioters, from the Guang to the Yan, all claiming to be the rightful bearers of the Mandate of Heaven.

On the peninsula of the blessed, however, the Manichaeic faithful basked in the knowledge they were the only ones truly favoured by God.

And as another century approaches its end, the future of the Red Turbans is bright and full of opportunity. From securing the peninsula to reconquering its historic territories to a prospective invasion of Japan, the possibilities are boundless when the light of Heaven shines from above.