The Widow Harun
The Great Raids
The Great Raids were a series of four campaigns between 1395 and 1424 in which hordes of Shaaran and Tuigan riders lashed out at the settled lands on the borders of The Shaar, eventually destroying all the trading cities on the caravan roads that passed north and south of the plains.
In 1395, the first Great Raid was made possible by the election of the infant Arigh Boke to the chiefdom of the Shaaran Cheetah tribe. With this newfound political legitimacy, his father Jochi became able to assemble a horde from both nations with the intention of riding against Hardcastle and the cities to the west. Torsh, Innarlith, and Derlusk were also sacked. The destruction of Innarlith was especially sweet for the Shaarans because the city had become a regional hub for slave trading, whose main victims were the nomads. The raid of 1395 would also be the first and only time that all the children of Jebe Khan went to war together. The eighteen year old Jochi and his fourteen year old brother Batu would not take to the field together again until the destruction of Sheirtalar in 1419. Meanwhile Ogedei and Borte, both 13, and Kublai, who was 11, accompanied the horde as wards of their brothers, to learn the arts of war. This was a custom common among traditional Tuigan. Jebe Khan himself was not present, being involved in The Demonwar at this time. The raid continued into 1396, as the horde tangled with the adventurer armies of The Border Kingdoms before finally flinging them back across The River Scelptar, leaving the northern Shaar entirely in Shaaran hands for the first time in centuries.
The southern cities were spared until 1410, when the elevation of the teenage Mongke to the chiefdom of the Hyena provided his father Batu with an opportunity to top his brother’s exploit. Leading the 13 year old Mongke, Batu and Jebe Khan passed south of The Great Rift with their horde, sacking Delzimmer and Three Swords before moving through The Channath Vale to reduce Channathgate, Rethmar and Kormul. This would be Jebe Khan’s last major campaign.
By 1418, some of the sacked cities had largely recovered, thanks to a resurgent caravan trade, but now there was a new power on the plains. The ten year old Yakub, thanks to the tribal ties of his father Arigh Boke, his grandfather Jochi, and his uncle Mongke, had just been named Khan of All Shaarans, and The Golden Family was anxious for battle in the year after Jebe Khan‘s death. It was, in fact, Subedei Khatun who suggested the raid, to help unify the family. Though Mongke was otherwise engaged, his father Batu joined all three generations of his brother’s side of the family in the two-pronged attack, which swept both north and south of the plains to converge on Sheirtalar for the first time. The capital of Lapaliiya was their biggest prize so far. The Tuigan hauled off thousands of priests, mages and craftsmen, and even peeled the gold leaf from the city’s roofs. The campaign continued into 1420 as the riders chased the Lapaliiyan warriors across The River Talar.