Dai Chagarim

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 This article is a B-class article. It is written to a good standard. This article is part of Project Exodus.
Dai Chagarim
Kai D.svgKai A.svgKai I.svg  Kai C.svgKai H.svgKai A.svgKai G.svgKai A.svgKai R.svgKai I.svgKai M.svg
Emperor of Japan 002.jpg
Emperor of Shadäk
Reign c. TBD - c. TBD
Predecessor Dai Tukam
Successor Dai Nuren
Regent TBD
Born c. TBD
Greater Kai Empire
Died c. TBD
Greater Kai Empire
Men Dinnan
Issue See § Family
Temple name
Hakusigo Estas
Royal house Dai
Father Dai Tukam
Mother Hami Kalat
Religion Estasian Ramvokism
Dai Chagarim was a warlord in the early dynastic Kai era who founded the state of Shadäk during the Younglings period and became its first ruler. Born into a noble family, Dai Chagarim was a distant relative to the Kai imperial family. The political turmoil of the Younglings period forced Dai Chagarim and his brothers to become military commanders. As a young man, Dai Chagarim became distinguished in battle and leadership through his charisma and ambition, becoming a central figure of the Second Riden Wars. After becoming king of Shadäk, he successfully united the armies of four warlord states under one state and became an important ally to Drum Bakän. Following Drum Bakän's death, Dai Chagarim led a coalition against rivaling warlord and former childhood friend Hasa Sassai. After defeating Hasa Sassai, he fought against a renewed coalition against himself by his former allies. After the decisive victory at the Battle of Gahanamora, Dai Chagarim ultimately prevailed and declared himself the Kai Emperor as Shadäk came to comprise three-fifths of ancient Kaishuri. During his reign, Dai Chagarim continued his military ambitions of reestablishing a unified Kaishurian empire similar to the Alawazis. He waged war against the Eastern Kai states, intending to subjugate them under complete Shadäk rule.

He was gravely wounded in the Battle of the Shattered Rocks after he was thrown from his horse. Although he survived the injury, he became fully paralyzed below his shoulders as a parapelegic. Mobilely incapacitated, Dai Chagarim remained emperor while his chief eunuch Hohori served as regent. Dai Chagarim's paralysis resulted in a change of perspective in his life as he began devoting his life to a renewed faith in Ramvokism. Two years following his accident, Dai Chagarim began to receive visions from God and the Four Goddesses. His first major vision revealed that Hohori was plotting to eliminate all of Dai Chagarim's legal issue with the intention of securing the throne for himself. Dai Chagarim had Hohori executed and reclaimed full control over imperial powers. Dai Chagarim believed he had received favor in the eyes of God despite his physical limitations, and sought to "purify" Shadäk. He eschewed the imperial comforts of the palace and began to issue both edicts and divine revelations atop a temple pillar. Dai Chagarim became known as the "Stylite Emperor" as he delivered oratory speeches to the public masses and spent days perched on the pillar with bare sustenance. He developed a mass devotional following and became accepted as the spiritual leader of the state Ramvokist religion, outranking even the high priests. Dai Chagarim became well-known across the Riden Peninsula and he began to receive pilgrims from Ramvokist devotees across Aicho as a "living prophet".

As Dai Chagarim's popularity, as both emperor and prophet, continued to grow, Dai Chagarim's ambitions expanded and he began to freely travel across Shadäk with an entourage of bodyguards, courtesans, officers, and priests in what became known as the Great Tour of Shadäk. After touring the state for nearly a year, Dai Chagarim gained the confidence to return to battle as the commander of Shadäk after receiving revelation from God to finish the conquest of the Riden Peninsula. Dai Chagarim was personally carried into battle by elite warriors and was involved in direct, physical combat on several occasions. The military successes of Dai Chagarim elevated him to demigod status among Ramvokist believers and made him a prime target by his enemies, who feared Dai Chagarim's popularity would result in mutiny among troops and rebellions among civilian sympathizers. In the Battle of the Two Ravines, Dai Chagarim was captured by Memuian soldiers and was delivered to the Memuian capital of E where he was paraded as a prisoner. He remained in captivity with the Memuian king Karari Kami for nearly a month while Shadäk troops attempted to secure his return. During his captivity, he engaged in a series of debates, conversations, and challenges with King Karari Kami that are recorded in the Book of Hakusigo Estas. Karari Kami, a non-Ramvokist, questioned the prophethood of Dai Chagarim and placed Dai Chagarim through a series of trials in order to prove that he had a direct connection with the gods. At the end of the trials, Karari Kami, impressed by Dai Chagarim's intellect, wisdom, and miracles, converted to Ramvokism and agreed to peace with Shadäk. Dai Chagarim was then released and sent back to Shadäk, alongside Memuian dignitaries who were to deliver peace terms between the two rulers. Dai Chagarim was captured along the way by the forces of Kapasim and was summarily executed by Kapasimian general Dremio. Following Dai Chagarim's death, his eldest son Dai Nuren succeeded the throne and elevated his father to a venerated prophet within the Ramvokist faith and a revered martyr.

Historical sources[edit | edit source]

Religious devotional icon depicting an anachronistic depiction of Dai Chagarim as the Stylite Emperor

The primary authoritative source on the life and sayings of Dai Chagarim is written in the second volume of the Tome of Good Deeds and Works by the Juyin Kai historian Po Zikorom, two centuries following Dai Chagarim's death. The source covered Dai Chagarim's life extensively, alongside his predecessors, successors, and contemporaries during the early dynastic Kai era. Po Zikorom based his writings on the contemporaneous accounts of Dai Chagarim's peers and followers. These original sources were believed to have been recorded and stored in the First Library of Shukariden, which was destroyed in the Great Fire of Shukariden approximately 20 years after Po Zikorom's own death. Several sections of the Tome of Good Deeds and Works were lost, including portions of Dai Chagarim's life, although secondary sources summarizing or paraphrasing the book, including the lost sections, have been preserved and also used to reconstruct the life of Dai Chagarim.

Other historical sources on Dai Chagarim that do not rely on Tome of Good Deeds and Works exist but have been deemed less reliable or authoritative by modern scholars due to the often fanciful and semi-legendary embellishments of Dai Chagarim's life in such records. The most popular source recounting the life of Dai Chagarim is found in the Ramvokist holy text Book of Hakusigo Estas, which is officially attributed to Dai Chagarim himself, but was likely written by multiple authors several decades after Dai Chagarim's death. The historical fiction novel The Chronicles of the Stylite Emperor, published about three centuries after Tome of Good Deeds and Works, is based on the tome as well as the Book of Hakusigo Estas, depicts a romanticized version of Dai Chagarim who performed supernatural miracles and superhuman feats.

Family background[edit | edit source]

A vujut bushin of Estas appearing before Dai Tukam and his wives

According to Tome of Good Deeds and Works, Dai Chagarim was born in Cidrá, which was part of the state of Priam, one of the various independent polities in the former Alawazi Empire of the Younglings period. His father was Dai Tukam, a provincial commander for Priam emperor Rao Kinak and a nobleman who had served the last Alawazi emperor Jagari during the First Riden Wars. His mother was Hami Kalat, a commoner who was taken by Dai Tukam to be his second wife and the first of Dai Tukam's wives to bear children. Both of his parents were members of the Yagan Clan. Through Dai Chagarim's paternal side, he was a descendant of Kuras Mingan, the fourth son of Täkur the Wise. According to the Book of Hakusigo Estas, Dai Chagarim was miraculously born of his virgin mother Hami Kalat. This detail was corroborated by the fact that Dai Tukam initially rejected Dai Chagarim at birth as his own child because Dai Chagarim's appearance was vastly different from Dai Tukam's expectations. Dai Tukam planned to abandon his child and the mother before he witnessed an apparition of a vujut bushin (avatar) of Estas who intervened on behalf of the child. Estas informed Dai Tukam that Dai Chagarim had been given favor by Ai and that the child was destined for greatness as both a leader and a messenger for God. Despite the divine intervention, Dai Tukam remained distant from his firstborn child and became estranged with Hami Kalat.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Relief depicting the semi-legendary account of Dai Chagarim slaying the mountain lion

During Dai Chagarim's early youth, he was largely cared for by family personal servants. Dai Tukam was often away from home as he served as a military commander, while Hami Kalat neglected her children out of spite of her husband and engaged in extramarital affairs with other men in Dai Chagarim's hometown of Cidrá. Dai Chagarim became close with his stepmother, Jala Riná, who was Dai Tukam's childless first wife. While his biological parents were indifferent towards religion, Jala Riná had devoted her life as a nun for the Estasi Cult. Through her rearing, Dai Chagarim received an informal education until he was 12 when he was sent to study under the tutelage of Muga Kachamin, a learned nobleman who had educated Dai Tukam in the arts and philosophy. He studied alongside Hasa Sassai, a boy from a noble family of the same rank. The two became close friends and both initially swore to a life in religious solemnity. Hasa Sassai was slightly older than Dai Chagarim and thus, Dai Chagarim regarded Hasa Sassai as an older brother. In the Book of Hakusigo Estas, it records the first supposed miracle of Dai Chagarim, revealing his nascent powers as a prophet.

Historians believe that the mountain lion story was likely historically factual, if not slightly embellished. Mountain lions, while no longer extant in modern Kaishuri, were a recurring threat and danger in ancient Kaishuri. Mentions of the mountain lion story are not directly appear in the Tome of Great Deeds and Works but have been found in a number of contemporaneous records. Portions of the Tome of Great Deeds and Works which were lost included specific details regarding Dai Chagarim's youth, leading historians to speculate that the account described in detail in the Book of Hakusigo Estas to hold some semblance of historical accuracy and authenticity. In addition, unearthed middens throughout Kaishuri revealed instances of traumatized mountain lion skulls and bones with blunt wounds and impalements, suggesting that the human hunting of mountain lions was practiced to some degree. The story was also similar to other legendary accounts and myths that exhibited the motif of characters killing dangerous animals. In Ramvokist belief, Dai Chagarim's killing of the mountain lion represents human triumph over adversity through the divine intervention and protection of the gods.

A tomb mural depicting the adolescent friendship of Dai Chagarim and Hasa Sassai

According to both the Tome of Good Deeds and Works and the Book of Hakusigo Estas, Dai Chagarim remained under the tutelage of Muga Kachamin until the latter's death when Dai Chagarim was 15, which coincided with the end of the First Riden Wars. The two sources diverged on the accounts of Dai Chagarim. The best-preserved copy of the original Tome of Good Deeds and Works has a significant number of lacunas during Dai Chagarim's adolescence. The surviving sections of the text which describe Dai Chagarim's adolescence describes Dai Chagarim receiving military training at the Cidrá Imperial Academy where he trained alongside Hasa Sassai. The Book of Hakusigo Estas makes only brief, passing mentions of Dai Chagarim's military training and instead, focuses on his life as a young miracle worker and astute reader of the Motherly Codex. According to the Book, Dai Chagarim was able to recite the entirety of the existing canon of the Motherly Codex at the time by memory. The holy text also describes Dai Chagarim performing a number of supernatural miracles including "burning" a fountain of water, healing a young girl, and turning tree branches into metal swords. In addition, he was also competent and knowledgeable in the holy corpus of the three other main Ramvokist cults: Andoni, Rinakeshi, and Sonderi.

There is some conflict on the dating of when Dai Chagarim entered military education as well. While the Tome records Dai Chagarim's enrollment at the age of 17, the Book states that he did not enroll until he turned 19. In either case, it is widely believed that Dai Chagarim completed military training, which entailed not only physical education and weaponry mastery, but also a complete knowledge of advanced arts, sciences, and philosophy, by the time he attained the age of 22. In conjunction with his secular studies, Dai Chagarim had become an ordained minister for the Estasi Cult and began practicing almsgiving as part of his religious duties. Due to his noble status, he was required under the principle of zozom to prepare meals for the commoners every month. During these community service events, Dai Chagarim spent time socializing with the commoners and gained a newfound appreciation for his own status as a noblemen.

After he had completed his military training, he and his brothers were called to service under their father Dai Tukam who was made a duke by the King of Priam. The outbreak of the Second Riden Wars required the complete mobilization of young, able-bodied men throughout Shadäk. In service of the King of Priam, Dai Tukam was called to raise several legions of men to be led by sub-commanders. Dai Tukam remained bitter and skeptical of Dai Chagarim's own legitimacy, and chose Dai Chagarim's half-brother Dai Ayano to serve as the commander of one of Dai Tukam's ducal armies. Offended by Dai Tukam's slight against him, Dai Chagarim challenged Dai Ayano to the traditional tasho hotom duel (literally "burning meeting"). The duel, which was usually but not always fatal, was an ancient fight that determined whether or not the challenger or the challenged was worthy in the eyes of the gods. Such duels were held in an open, public space or specialized arenas and were done so in the presence of a local leader and a crowd of public spectators. The challengers were allowed to select a weapon of their choice and were to fight timed matches in a best of three. The loser, if still alive, was usually executed but could be spared if the fighter proved themselves to be valiant or honorable in battle enough.

A Korati painting depicting the scene of the lone white horse interceding the ceremony

Dai Ayano initially refused to accept the challenge of tasho hotom but was coaxed into accepting at the insistence and urging of Dai Tukam who believed Dai Chagarim would lose the fight. Dai Chagarim purposefully chose a wooden rod known as the kaddei, which symbolized discipline. The kaddei was prevalent among noble households and was utilized by parents or other adults to discipline children. While the tool was meant to inflict pain and issue corporal punishment, it was not meant to kill or seriously injure the person struck, compared to the krippan, a similar but spiked weapon that was used to discipline slaves and prisoners, and was capable of being used as a lethal weapon. Dai Chagarim's choice symbolized his status as Dai Ayano's older brother, their mutual status as noblemen, and his intentions to not kill Dai Ayano. Dai Ayano, who had selected a standard sword, was disheartened at the sight of the kaddei and refused to fight. As punishment for his refusal to fight, Dai Tukam, who presided over the tasho hotom, ordered that Dai Ayano be executed for defiling the ancient rules. However, Dai Chagarim offered his own life instead, to symbolize his brotherly devotion and his filial piety to Dai Tukam. Dai Chagarim was then sent to be executed by beheading. However, his life was spared when a lone white horse entered into the tasho hotom grounds. The coincidental appearance of the horse was deemed a sign from the gods that Dai Chagarim had received divine favor. Both brothers were ultimately spared from execution and Dai Tukam reluctantly designated Dai Chagarim as his sub-commander.

Although Dai Chagarim formally received recognition as Dai Tukam's eldest son, heir, and sub-commander, their relationship continued to be frayed. The Tome presupposed Dai Tukam's jealousy that his son would rival him in greatness, while the Book held that Dai Tukam had been afflicted with evil thoughts and was tormented by malicious spirits which clouded his judgment. Despite Dai Chagarim's efforts to reconcile with his estranged father, the two remained in enmity until Dai Tukam's death. However, Dai Chagarim was present at Dai Tukam's deathbed where Dai Tukam delivered his last testament and will, directing to give Dai Chagarim his proportion of the inheritance. This final gesture and acknowledgment left a lasting impression on Dai Chagarim and persuaded him to keep the family name in honor of his deceased father.

Military career[edit | edit source]

Religious devotional painting depicting Dai Chagarim receiving his military commission

Dai Chagarim proved to be a resourceful and adept military leader. As the military sub-commander for the Hiraim Province, he formed a close circle of allies including Yuga Monami, Hami Ringa, and Sai Kamanak. In his first military campaign as sub-commander, Dai Chagarim suppressed an uprising in the Igawan Province where Douism and Kalleanism had taken root among its citizens. The presence of Oratian missionaries was deemed a threat to the hegemony of the Ramvokist faith, which was the state religion of Priam. Although Ramvokism had historically been syncretized with foreign faiths, as it had been with the ancient Kai religion of Jähimajiism, an emphasis on religious orthodoxy and exclusivism began to take root during the late Alawazi Empire prior to the First Riden Wars. During the Alawazi Empire, increased contact between distant civilizations beyond the Kaijin world led to a mixture of intrigue and fear. Despite political division among the Kai state, the unity of the Ramvokist religion served as the defining characteristic which separated the Kai world from neighboring civilizations (Imisquuniad Jurs to the west and the Oratian Methona to the south). With common religion, outside of ethnicity, the universal constant in the Riden Peninsula, the prevailing view was that wars such as the Second Riden War were "internal quarrels of loving brothers". There was a deeply rooted anxiety and apprehension to foreign faiths and culture. The theme of barbarian strangers "intruding the quarters" of the Kaijin world was one of the key motivations that Kai rulers used to justify unification and conquest throughout the Riden Peninsula. Thus, the religious persecution and inquisition undertaken by Dai Chagarim was politically expedient as it was religiously important. "It is said that 'moreover, Orat must be destroyed', but first, let it say that the Four must be vindicated" is a quote often attributed to Dai Chagarim. This quote does not appear in any form in both the Tome of Good Deeds and Works and the Book of Hakusigo Estas, but is found in an early Imperial Kai digest of political sayings which was published about three centuries after Dai Chagarim's death. The quote appears most famously in The Chronicles of the Stylite Prince. The Tome records that Dai Chagarim and his men massacred hundreds of Oratian expatriates in the city of Riyam and consecrated a temple to the Goddess Estas to "cleanse" the city of foreign influence.

After Dai Chagarim's religious campaign against the Douists and Kalleanites, he was called to support his father's campaign against the city-states of Jingari and Hotoma, which lied at the periphery of Priam's territorial extent. Compared to his father's troops and the other subcommanders, Dai Chagarim's troops were the fewest in number and were the least-equipped. This incongruency was deliberately allowed by Dai Tukam due to his continued disfavor for his son. Despite this, Dai Chagarim was able to independently raise his own militia to supplement his official troops, with approval by the Priam emperor Liguma Bälos (who had succeeded the issueless Emperor Rao Kinak) after the fact. When the all of the assembled troops rallied in a siege of Jingari, Dai Tukam was furious at the sight of his son's troops rivaling his own flagship troops in size. Following a protracted and brutal siege of Jingari, Dai Chagarim and his men distinguished themselves in battle, forcing Dai Tukam to concede that he was dependent on their involvement for the successful military operation.

In the siege of Hotoma, Dai Chagarim was given greater discretion and command to lead after news of his victorious charge was conveyed to Emperor Liguma. Dai Chagarim and Yuga Monami employed psychological warfare tactics to force the city of Hotoma, such as the persistent use of loud, repeating drums throughout the siege to intimidate the city's residents. He sent spies into the city to spread rumors that the besieging armies were much larger than they actually were, and that the goddesses had granted the troops divine protection. Both the Tome and the Book attest that on the final day of the siege, Dai Chagarim and his friends personally rode on horseback towards the city gates, accompanied by horn players, in full sight of the Hotoma king. Shocked by such brazen display of confidence, the Hotoma king surrendered and opened the city gates, allowing Dai Chagarim, his men, and the rest of the troops to enter the city peacefully. The relative ease and minimal bloodshed over the fall of Hotoma greatly contributed to Dai Chagarim's prestige.

During the siege of Hotoma, Dai Chagarim began written correspondence between himself and Drum Bakän, a general from the Dori Province. Both men shared a vision of a restored Alawazi Empire but Dai Chagarim was deeply impressed by Drum Bakän's religious devotion to the goddess Sonder. The Book of Hakusigo Estas detailed a mythologized dialogue between the two individuals. Although Dai Chagarim's center of focus was in the goddess Estas, Dai Chagarim admired the complementary relationship between the two of the Four Goddesses. In Ramvokist theology, Estas and Sonder are considered the more emotional and temperamental of the Four. In Estasian Ramvokism, there is a greater emphasis on humanism and universalism, whereas in Sonderian Ramvokism, there is a greater emphasis on dogmatism and conservatism. Although the religion was formally divided into four cults, with each centered on one of the Four Goddesses, the cults were not sects or denominations in the conventional sense. The traditional divisions were more akin to schools of thought and thus, it was a largely uncontentious matter over which goddess deserved praise during the time of Dai Chagarim. In The Chronicles of the Stylite Emperor, it retold the communication between the two military officers as a polemical debate on which goddess was greater. However, this was likely an anarchronistic invention created to cause narrative tension between the two men. In reality, discussion or debate between the cults at the time were merely exercises in understanding different forms and aspects of the Supreme God, Ai. The development of monolatry within Ramvokism did not formally occur until centuries after Dai Chagarim and Drum Bakän's lifetimes.

Dai Chagarim's burgeoning friendship with Drum Bakän was complicated by politics despite sharing similar beliefs on Kaijin unity and religious devotion. The Dori Province was part of the state of Gushem, which was a co-belligerent with Priam in the Second Riden War. The two states were not at war at the time, partly because their relative spheres of influence did not overlap. However, Priam and Gushem were not linked through any formal alliances either. As both states, as did many other warring states of the Younglings period did, vied for the ultimate domination and reestablishment of a singular empire across the entire Riden Peninsula, there was ambiguity and uncertainty over the future of Priam and Gushem's relationship. Correspondence with an enemy by a military official, if discovered, was punishable by death as a form of treason, and thus, Dai Chagarim was cautious in his writings. The two did not exchange any militarily sensitive knowledge and did not extend the topic of their correspondence beyond spiritual and trivial matters. Dai Chagarim carefully guarded knowledge of his secret correspondence with Drum Bakän from Dai Tukam who would have devised a plot to undermine Dai Chagarim's reputation as a duplicitous conspirator. The correspondences gave Dai Chagarim a sense of camaraderie with his Dori counterpart and would enable the two to ally together during the second half of the Second Riden Wars.

An illustrated scene of the siege of Hotoma

After the siege of Hotoma, Dai Chagarim returned to the capital of Priam in Cidrá as a victorious and decorated war hero. He assumed a position in the Council of Lords as an official adviser to the emperor and was made an elder in his own clan. As his father's health began to decline and deteriorate, Dai Chagarim made preparations to succeed his father's role as the presumptive heir to his father's ducal title and military leadership. After Dai Tukam's death, Dai Chagarim was promoted to chief administrator of the Priaman military and held the highest non-civilian position within the emperor's inner court. In his role as a political adviser, Dai Chagarim recommended that public works projects be done to improve the lives of the people in Cidrá and vicinity. Additionally, he oversaw surveys of the annual agricultural harvests and directed that accurate records be kept to ensure that production was more efficient.

When the neighboring warlord state Nihoe fell to Priam's chief rival state, Urapak, Dai Chagarim led a military campaign to the frontiers of Priam near Nihoe to defend the hinterlands. During his military campaign, Emperor Liguma was assassinated by his own head guard, Rao Ayano, the bastard child of the emperor's predecessor, Rao Kinak. Faced with an ensuing civil war within Priam, Dai Chagarim left Hami Ringa and Sai Kamanak in charge of the defense of Priam's borderlands while he and Yuga Monami returned to Cidrá to pacify the usurper emperor. Like Emperor Rao Kinak, the late Emperor Liguma had no legitimate issue due to constant warring, although he fathered a number of illegitimate children. As such, a number of other claimants to the Priaman throne arose. Dai Chagarim was the highest-ranking official in post-coup that did not support any of the claimants. As such, Dai Chagarim declared that the throne was vacant and that Rao Ayano and the other claimants were pretenders to the throne. Dai Chagarim claimed the throne for himself asserting he had received a divine commandment from the gods and mustered his own troops to support his cause. After a month of fighting, Dai Chagarim was victorious, outnumbering rivaling factions in manpower by as much as ten to one. He was crowned emperor of the renamed state of Shadäk and made the declaration on his intention of reunifying the Riden Peninsula under his rule.

Reign[edit | edit source]

A scene from an illustrated version of the Book of Hakusigo Estas depicting Dai Chagarim's conquest of Amakya

Dai Chagarim returned to the battlefield within days of his imperial coronation. Seeking to regroup his troops with Hami Ringa and Sai Kamanak at the borderlands, Dai Chagarim placed regency powers with Hohori, the chief eunuch, as his regent. Dai Chagarim's troops reunited with the border defenders, beginning an offensive military campaign against Urapak. After winning several victories against Urapak, he became known as a valiant warrior-king who sought to reunify Kaishuri, and thus began gaining allies across the land from those who supported his cause. After the defeat of Urapak, Dai Chagarim continued his movement across Central Kaishuri, invading the independent city-states of Noori and Amakya in the Shashin region. Amakya, which had previously been independent for nearly five centuries, including during the Alawazi Empire, was defeated after long, arduous seige in which Dai Chagarim employed brutal warfare tactics such as catapulting diseased corpses of the fallen soldiers into the city and setting fire to its fields, depleting the city's agricultural supply. Upon entering the city, Dai Chagarim demonstrated mercy by allowing to spare the citizens although he enslaved the able-bodied men and women, as well as children, for their prolonged resistance. The king of Amakya was also spared although he was forcibly castrated and made into a eunuch to serve in Dai Chagarim's court. Starting in Amakya, he directed that every major city that came under his subjugation was to consecrated to one of the saints or gods in Ramvokism, while he reserved the most prestigious cities in the name of the Four. Dai Chagarim began referring to his reconquest of Kaishuri as not simply a reunification campaign but a holy war. Upon leaving the gates of Amakya to continue his march towards the East, Dai Chagarim declared "Shadäk marches for the lesser glory of the Kaijin and the Kaijin marches for the greater glory of His Four Goddesses".

After the fall of Amakya, various neighboring cities quickly capitulated when Dai Chagarim marched towards them as news spread of his power and determination. He offered cities which surrendered peacefully complete protection and security within Shadäk, as well as freedom from the threat of enslavement. Dai Chagarim began to show willingness towards the use of diplomatic means to convince cities to join Shadäk, although he continued to brutally sack entire settlements which showed moderate resistance or difficulty. In the fall of Himudin, he ordered every able-bodied adult male to be executed because of the city's "wickedness" after the city refused to give in to Dai Chagarim's offer and he discovered that there were no Ramvokist places of worship within the city gates.

During the course of Dai Chagarim's campaign towards the east, he maintained his correspondence with Drum Bakän who had seized the throne of Gushem under similar circumstances and was leading his own campaign. Dai Chagarim had gained a deep level of trust and respect for Drum Bakän and viewed him as a crucial ally in the Second Riden Wars. They agreed to enter into a formal military alliance together, forming a coalition against the warlords of Eastern Kaishuri. After Dai Chagarim took the city of Limani, he had successfully united four different states under Shadäk: Priam, Nihoe, Urapak, and Shashin. Dai Chagarim paused his advances after falling seriously ill following the fall of Himudin. At this time, he discovered that Drum Bakän was engaged in war with Dai Chagarim's childhood friend, Hasa Sassai, who led the state of Liranim and was opposed to the idea of a reunified Kaishuri. Dai Chagarim was conflicted between two men he held great respect and made attempts to reconcile the two, but was rebuffed by Hasa Sassai. Reconciliation became moot after Drum Bakän himself was killed in battle during the Battle of the Two Emperors against Hasa Sassai's general Pran Gala. Enraged at the loss of his ally, Dai Chagarim declared war on Liranim and rallied Drum Bakän's generals to formally pledge alliegance to Shadäk. He made the call for other states that desired reunification to stand against the "divisionists" whom he named Hasa Sassai as its chief supporter. Shadäk, Gushem, and a number of city-states joined forces to invade Liranim and Halor. After a lengthy campaign through the mountainous terrain of Liranim, the combined forces stormed the capital city of Amanüz. Dai Chagarim's troops gave chase to Hasa Sassai who escaped the city and later captured him in the city of Ninam. While in captivity, Dai Chagarim offered his former friend hospitality and comfort despite the latter's status as a prisoner of war. However, Hasa Sassai attempted to secure his freedom by challenging Dai Chagarim to a tasho hotom, which Dai Chagarim refused. Following this refusal, Hasa Sassai committed suicide by hurling himself off the cliffs of Mount Popomi where Dai Chagarim and men were encamped.

After Hasa Sassai's death, Dai Chagarim wanted to resume the military campaign to completely conquer Liranim and Halor. However, he was betrayed by his close allies Hami Ringa and Sai Kamanak, who felt that they were undervalued as Dai Chagarim's generals, and had their own political ambitions as administrators of the newly conquered lands. The two generals conspired with Dai Chagarim's enemies in Halor, as well as in Gusehm that wanted to divide Shadäk into a loose confederation of states, rather than a unitary state. Dai Chagarim and his remaining allies, which included Yuga Monami, campaigned against the military coalition that opposed him as he sought to defend his title as emperor and unifier. Despite being outnumbered, Dai Chagarim was able to secure a number of tactical victories against the coalition, including the death of Hami Ringa, before conclusively winning a strategic victory at the Battle of Gahanamora near the city of Yaluti. Following the battle, Dai Chagarim eliminated the majority of his enemies that posed a serious threat to his claims as the paramount warlord in the region. Several warlords of smaller states that been involved in the coalition capitulated, making Dai Chagarim the undisputed leader in Western Kaishuri. After months of recuperating and surveying the pacified lands of the enlarged Shadäk state, Dai Chagarim marched towards the Eastern Kai states in order to complete total reunification of the Riden Peninsula. His military ambitions were cut short after he was thrown off his warhorse during the Battle of the Shattered Rocks. Gravely wounded from the fall, he survived after spending weeks in recovery but became nearly completely paralyzed, unable to use his limbs. Unable to personally continue the conquests, he entrusted Yami Monami and Dalam Sassai to become the principal military commanders. Dai Chagarim returned to Cidrá, hoping to regain strength so that would be able to return to battle. During his absence, Dai Chagarim had entrusted his chief eunuch Hohori to tend to the civil matters of the state. Upon his return, he allowed Hohori to run the state as his regent, while Dai Chagarim spent time in solitude within the palace.

Prophethood[edit | edit source]

Depiction of Dai Chagarim as a prophet atop the pillar

For two years after sustaining his disabling injury, Dai Chagarim divided his time between the imperial library and the courtyard. He renewed his religious studies and entered into long periods of meditative sessions. Humbled by the experience, he began to practice an ascetic lifestyle, first by fasting for long durations at a time to no longer taking baths. He continued to issue military orders to his officers who endured a stalemate against the Eastern Kai states. During his second year, Dai Chagarim began to receive visions in his dreams. His dreams were mainly symbolic, which he had the court scribes and priests attempt to interpret. He received his first major vision however that uncovered a plot by Hohori against the lives of Dai Chagarim's sons. Dai Chagarim was skeptical of the vision but confirmed it after his suspicions were confirmed through his growing network of spies.

While the Tome described Dai Chagarim as becoming increasingly paranoid and frenetic during his livid visions, the Book held that he received direct revelation from the Four Goddesses in order to purge Shadäk of evildoers. Dai Chagarim had Hohori executed for treason and he reasserted full control over the powers of the state. Dai Chagarim believed that he received a calling from God to serve Shadäk. After having another vision, Dai Chagarim began to sit perched atop an idle pillar of the Great Temple of Cidrá where he claimed drew him closer to the gods. Exposed to the elements and guarded only by a handful of footsoldiers, Dai Chagarim spent long periods atop the pillar where he delivered political orders and religious sermons. The novelty of seeing the emperor in such a public yet sacred place attracted thousands of city residents to the temple. Despite his deep devotion to Ramvokism, Dai Chagarim preached unorthodoxly, contrary to the Sonderian dogmaticism that prevailed at the time. As an Estasian, Dai Chagarim emphasized the inner contradictions and complexities of life. Despite his asceticism, Dai Chagarim enjoyed the occasional pleasures of life, asserting that it was acceptable to partake in the pleasures of life alongside the challenges and solemnities that are central to it. Dai Chagarim hosted large parties and celebrations at the courtyard to commemorate important anniversaries and feasts of saints. His views on sexuality reflected the extremely libertine standards of the time. Free love was permissive and a central tenet of Ramvokist liberty. The following excerpt from the Book of Hakusigo Estas records the following saying from Dai Chagarim, revelling in the sight of drunken orgies.

Dai Chagarim underwent cycles of asceticism and hedonism. Despite his depiction as wholly devoted to Ramvokist orthodoxy in the Book, the Tome and other historical sources seem to suggest that Dai Chagarim became more tolerant and open towards foreign ideas as he ministered as a stylite. His tolerance of a more uninhibited lifestyle (under constrained restrictions) was likely due to the influence of Douism despite his previous encounters with the faith. In the Book, it makes no mention of Dai Chagarim's influence in Douist thought and other sources outside Ramvokism.

Dai Chagarim's ministry was well-received by the inhabitants of Cidrá and faithful pilgrims from across the Ramvokist world traveled to listen to his sermons. Although he was an ordained Ramvokist minister and the emperor, he still ranked nominally below the senior priests of Cidrá, who were the official religious leaders. However, the High Priest of Cidrá recognized the prophethood of Dai Chagarim and deferred spiritual leadership to Dai Chagarim, thereby cementing Dai Chagarim's status as both political and religious leader. This was highly unprecedented among Kai states as the two spheres of power, while intertwined, were kept separate. The high priests of other cities within Shadäk also recognized Dai Chagarim's primacy over the religious affairs of the state. This concentration of power laid the foundation for the eventual, permanent merger of state and faith in subsequent Kaishurian imperial history.

Towards the fourth year of his ministry, Dai Chagarim claimed to receive visions from God who instructed him to complete the unification of the Riden Peninsula. During Dai Chagarim's ministry, Shadäk sued for peace with the Eastern Kai states and a white peace followed. Dai Chagarim believed it was necessary to tour the entire empire of Shadäk to minister to its people before he looked to resume his military conquest. Having gained levels of popularity unrivaled by even previous great Kai leaders, Dai Chagarim set off in the Great Tour of Shadäk where he was accompanied by a large entourage of court officials, courtesans, priests, and soldiers. He intended to visit every major city of Shadäk, many of which he had personally visited before when he besieged or conquered them during his earlier military campaigns.

Defeat and fall[edit | edit source]

During his Great Tour of Shadäk, Dai Chagarim was carried around in a mobile platform, while other times, he piggybacked large, tall warriors known as gahanyodam. The most famous gahanyodam who served Dai Chagarim was Dagani, a 7-foot warrior who carried Dai Chagarim into several battles. Enemy accounts recalled the unusual sight of the emperor-prophet atop a towering warrior leading legions of soldiers into battle, which demoralized opposing troops. On two occasions, Dagani and Dai Chagarim were personally involved in physical combat. Observers remarked how Dai Chagarim was positioned and Dagani was obscured underneath warrior garments gave the appearance that Dai Chagarim himself was battling his enemies personally.

Execution[edit | edit source]

The Execution of Dai Chagarim by Korati artist Kurmani Albaga

Appraisal[edit | edit source]

Family and descendants[edit | edit source]

Dai Chagarim fathered seven children with his wife Men Dinnan. In addition to his legitimate issue, Dai Chagarim had more than 30 confirmed children with his concubines and mistresses. During his reign, he gave important political posts to his living brothers such as Minister of Public Works to his half-brother Dai Irasu. As the first emperor of Shadäk, he founded the Dai dynasty which ruled as the imperial house until the advent of the modern Greater Kai Empire under the Juyin dynasty, a cadet branch. All of the emperors following the Juyin dynasty have descended from the same lineage, directly or indirectly. As such, Dai Chagarim represents the ancestor of all contemporary Kai rulers. Dai Chagarim himself was a descendant of Täkur the Wise through Kuras Mingan, one of Täkur the Wise's sons.

See also[edit | edit source]