The Messenger

Chapter One

By Douglas E. Gogerty

With the complete destruction of the Khwarezmian Empire, Genghis Khan needed to return to the Steppes to put down an uprising. However, The Messenger remained with the army that searched for the sultan. It was their task to take the 2 tumens (20,000 soldiers), each under generals Jebe and Subutai, and scout further west, while the great Khan headed east.

Naturally, there were some relatives of the sultan that had to be removed from power. This was the impetus of the expedition. With rumors and intelligence of alliances further west, these needed to be explored.

The two tumens split up, and The Messenger remained with General Subutai. While General Jebe was sieging and capturing several cities around the Caspian Sea. Many reports returned of the brutal nature of this process. The population did not submit readily to the Mongol invaders.

The first encounter for The Messenger's tumen occurred when General Subutai's army fell upon the city of Qazvin. The governor of that city was uncooperative, and the city was sacked. The siege of the city was difficult, but the catapults eventually did their work.

The able bodied men were taken to be used in the front lines of the next encounter. However, the process was slow and expensive. Thus, in order to scout more efficiently, a new tactic would have to be employed.

General Subutai organized a group to act as emissary to the province of Dilem. While the 14 year old messenger was too young to be the main diplomat, he went along on the mission as an escort. This was done at the request of the individual responsible for delivering the general's message.

The group met with Atabeg Uzbeg. A dozen guards made aggressive moves towards the envoy. Quickly and almost effortlessly, The Messenger with his pike, disarmed the group and pushed them back. With a glower but no words, the guards understood that they were to stay back.

Atabeg watched as his twelve guards were completely over matched by one young Mongol. The fear on his face was clear. What the ruler had heard about the ruthless Mongols was confirmed in that incident. Without hesitation, he showered the Mongols with presents.

The envoy packed up the silver, garments, and other treasures upon the provided horses and returned to General Subutai. Thus, it was assured that the Mongols could move unencumbered through the territory. Hence, the scouting went very well for them.

The weather was turning bad, thus they needed a place to winter. An envoy was sent to the city of Tabriz. The general gave them the task of securing unfettered hunting ground for a few months.

The group arrived in Tabriz with the standard array of gifts. Seeing the riches which the envoy entrusted to the young messenger, some townspeople hatched a plan to take some. Six men singled out the youngster and fell upon him.

The Messenger pierced the first man through the heart with his pike. He quickly removed it and broke the jaw of a second man with the butt end. In a fluid motion, he blocked a blow from a club from one man and stabbed another in the throat. He hit the man with the club four times before getting around to killing him. The man with the broken jaw rushed him, and was stabbed in the eye and the pike exited the back of his head. The remaining two were frozen with fear watching their comrades dispatched in mere seconds. In a powerful charge, he drove his pike through both men.

After quietly piling the men up, the young man rejoined the envoy. He did not say a word about the incident. Thus, no retaliation was visited upon the citizens of Tabriz. However, the governor must have heard of the incident because a large tribute was paid to the Mongols. They would have plenty of provisions to winter in the area around the southern part of the Caspian Sea.

As was the common practice during the winter months, the army staged a great hunt. The soldiers created a large circle. Slowly, they drove all manner of animal towards the center. No animal was allowed to escape the circle as the soldiers closed in.

Further, no animal was killed until the signal was given. They would have a number animals completely surrounded. When the signal was given, the animals were all killed. This allowed the soldiers to keep using their martial skills. In this way, they practiced their cooperative maneuvers, horsemanship, and even bow skills. Not to mention, they also obtained great amounts of food for feasting with these hunts.

During the hunt, he once again wowed the group with his prowess. Many soldiers just sat back and watched him do his thing. They were awed at what he could do with the weapons at his disposal.

It was during the great hunt, that they celebrated the young man's wedding. Despite his father-in-laws death at the hands of the Sultan Ala ad-Din Muhammad, the wedding plans went ahead. Some worried that his killer instinct would be negatively impacted by his involvement with women. Nevertheless, it did not show during the hunt.

During this particular winter, General Subutai formulated a plan of action. He decided that in the spring his army would scout around the entire Caspian Sea. They may meet resistance, but it may prove useful to know the area around the Caspian. It would be a long and difficult campaign, but it needed to be done.

The Messenger would be a year older, but he was still too young to be taken seriously by anyone outside the group of Mongols. However, his skills were beyond that of anyone they had encountered.

When spring arrived, the army headed north. The Messenger's commitment would be certainly tested. No doubt there would be plenty of chances with General Subutai's psychological warfare. He would be on plenty of diplomatic missions.


Some of this was based from the account of the campaign found here:
Howorth, Henry Hoyle and Ravenstein, Ernest George. History of the Mongols: From the 9th to the 19th Century. Oxford, England: Longmans, Green, and Company, 1876. p. 93.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on May 18, 2008 9:23 PM.

"The Captives" - Chapter 4 was the previous entry in this blog.

"The Captives" - Chapter 5 is the next entry in this blog.

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