|Murdoh of Mantar
King of Mantar
|Reign||Murdoh of Mantar: 1542-1551 SR, 1593-1621 SR|
Nilma Oordar was the son of Maksag Oordar, his successor as ruler of Mantar, a title he later lost to his wife Gorōna, but which he regained later in life, becoming the ruler of Mantar once again. In that capacity he became known as the Angry King who declared Mantar as the superior Xaewoon Blue state, instigated religious cleansing and attempted to invade Qep.
He was the father of Rodare, who was also Kren Oordar, founder of the Oordar clan.
Nilma became ruler of Mantar in 1542, as he turned 12. Maksag died in 1543, leaving Nilma as the only Oordar. Nilma, however, was supported by a strong team of advisors and politicians, loyal to Maksag and Kren, and originating from all parts of the Oordarian proto-empire, which provided Nilma with a vast network.
Nilma's ascension was viewed as the direct and legitimate continuation of Maksag's rule and did not change the stability, established in Mantar by his father. Surrounded by the same people as his father, Nilma felt little interest in making any dramatic changes and instead maintained the status quo. He did, however, express interest in propping up the role of religion early on, something that would become the definitive feature of his later rule.
He developed a good relationship with Kren the Younger and in 1545 SR brokered peace with Qep, sealing it with marriage to Gorōna Toarlameek, daughter of Lora's Murdoh Taley Toarlameek. This demonstrated Nilma's skill as negotiator and strategist, probably at least in part due to his advisors and their understanding of the power dynamics in Qep: negotiating with Lora instead of Qep city undermined Qep city's government and later helped secure Toarlameek rule over the region a decade later.
Kren was unhappy with Kren the Younger's and Nilma's friendship, because he knew that in the future Nilma would dethrone and have a hand in murdering Kren the Younger, and wanted to make sure that Nilma would not be in a position to do so. Eventually Kren the Younger agreed and complied with his father's wishes. Incidentally, Nilma's removal from power was what put Nilma on a path to overthrowing Kren the Younger's power less than half a decade later.
In 1547 Kren the Younger staged a plot in the name of several Nilma's key advisors and supporters. The plot involved the independence of Goolkoon, a large city, formerly city-state Goolkoon, which was conquered by Mantar half a century ago and which was still the least loyal to Mantar. Nilma chose the strategy of diplomacy and installed Gorōna as Goolkoon's Murdoh, someone with Qep's lineage, so as to ease the tensions and reduce the appearance of oversight, learning from Kren's and Maksag's mistakes at Or. Gorōna being the Murdoh of Goolkoon was thus put in a position to uncover the alleged plot.
At that time Kren the Younger organized a visit to Mantar and Goolkoon was his first stop, which was geographically closer to Tonaran. As the plot was uncovered, Kren the Younger had Gorōna lure in the alleged perpetrators to Goolkoon under the pretense of a celebration of Kren the Younger's visit and had her arrest and execute them, thus murdering most of Nilma's loyalists.
Nilma then disappeared and resurfaced only after Kren's death, but srill kept a low public profile. He was, however, able to slowly rebuild his influence in Mantar over the next two decades, becoming Gorōna's unofficial advisor and a shadow figure behind many events in Mantar and Qep. This was possible due to his close relationship with the Toarlameek family, which accepted him after his downfall in Mantar. While Nilma's exact whereabouts immediately after Kren the Younger's plot are unknown, it is clear that he fled to Qep.
The next two decades, however, saw Nilma travel all over Heran and take part in some of the most important events of the period.
Campaign against Goldoor
Nilma was behind organizing a 1549-1550 campaign against Darfe Goldoor, the nomadic warlord that claimed vast territory between Or, Ernele and Qep, with a camp called Polg. His constant raids against Oordars in general and Delavire in particular were undercutting the region's stability and the Delavire-Gonne slave trade corridor. Darfe, on the other hand, maintained a strong Mōroh philosophy and considered Qep to be too sedentary.
Having re-established Qep's Murdon Circle just several years ago, Nilma led the coalition between Qep city and Lora to provide military support to Delavire. Once that was secured, he further convinced the Murdon that Darfe can be defeated.
In 1549 the combined army from Qep city and Lora stationed at Delavire and then, based on intelligence from Nilma, marched on Darfe's camp in a surprise attack. Goldoor's forces suffered losses, but were able to disperse.
A rift with Gorōna
At some point in the late 1580s Gorōna learned the truth about Kren the Younger's plot against Nilma, but refused to side with Nilma against Oordars and went as far as to remove him from her court completely, as a sign of her loyalty to Kren the Younger.
Return to power
Nilma then moved to Tonaran with his son Rodare. By this time he was not seen as a threat by Kren the Younger, who seemed to think that Nilma's decision to come to Tonaran is proof of Nilma's complete downfall.
Nilma, however, began using his significant informal influence to prop up Rodare as a successor to Kren the Younger against his younger brother Pherro, poised to become the next head of the clan. He began to unite factions that were opposed to Kren the Younger's rule in Tonaran, as well as activate his connections in Ernele, Or and Toyen that he had cultivated for decades. For example, he would forge letters from Tonaran in order to portray Kren the Younger as irrational and overly suspicious. He also began corresponding with many of the Oordars and powerful Murdohs throughout Heran in order to prepare the ground for the overthrow.
When Hee and Iar suddenly confronted the family in the west by capturing Kamey-Yr and also taking Pherro hostage, Kren the Younger made a decision to exchange Pherro for the city of Orden. Nilma used that decision against Kren the Younger, arguing that this was a sign of weakness and that this would bring the whole family down. Rodare then urged to remove Kren the Younger as leader. The family began gathering at Tonaran to deal with the matter, when Kren the Younger was murdered, possibly on the orders of Nilma himself. As the family convened at Tonaran, Rodare proclaimed himself head of the clan.
Rodare then installed Nilma as king of Mantar, denouncing his mother's title, marking her loss in the power game. Gorōna had to flee Mantar to her sister in Qep city.
As "Angry King"
Nilma immediately returned to Mantar to assume power. Gorōna's court largely relocated with her to Qep, and Nilma was able to easily promote many of the people who had supported him during his political exile to important positions. This made him popular among the remaining elites of Mantar, who saw his rule as a way to advance their status and wealth.
As revenge on Gorōna, Nilma removed Goolkoon's Murdoh from power and installed a pro-Mantar governor in his place, changing the diplomatic approach that he demonstrated half a century earlier to merciless suppression. He then made Goolkoon the military center of Mantar and had the army stationed there, which extinguished the culture of independence that was still prevalent in Goolkoon.
Additionally, Nilma instituted strict religious laws that gave more rights to Xaewoon Blue followers and dramatically limited the rights of non-believers, foreigners and slaves, as well as followers of different Xaewoon Blue interpretations, specifically Foft. While it is more common for the green stron of Xaewoon, under Nilma Ienana were now promoted to positions of power.
Nilma was moderately popular in the city of Mantar, but extremely unpopular everywhere else in the country, especially in Qep, where he was viewed as an unjust conqueror. However, strong support from the military prevented the population from revolting during his reign.
The downfall of Oordars
When Rodare vanished in 1593 SR, Nilma was in the middle of setting up his court in Mantar, which created a power vacumm in Tonaran. This was an unexpected development, and Nilma chose to ignore it, hoping that Tonaran would be loyal to him. Instead, he focused on building his vision of the Oordar rule in Mantar.
His indifference towards the rest of the clan and their Murdohs and sole focus on increasing his own influence played into the downfall of Oordars, who had lost not only the stability of Kren the Younger, but also the potential strong leader in the face of Rodare. Tonaran was generally pro-Mantar, but became more indifferent with time and declined military support to Nilma during his Qep campaign.
First Qep campaign
Nilma began the campaign in December of 1595 by attacking East Wall, in spite of his Jeenor being against it. But Nilma specifically targeted Gorōna's hometown in the hopes of exacting revenge on her personally. However, the siege turned out to be difficult. Two months later, in February of 1596 Nilma was informed of Gorōna's passing.
Writes Davi the Heranian:
"The news immediately took wind out of his sails. The siege was ultimately successful and in March Mantar's army overtook the fortress, but then Nilma proclaimed victory and turned back home to Goolkoon."
Second Qep campaign
Nilma invaded the country for the second time in 1601, after Sovtōndoh, the former lover of Gorōna, fled to Qep. He began attacking the region through the North Wall, capturing Qep city and then beginning a guerilla war against Polg and Lora. Polg later negotiated a peace treaty with Nilma and seceded from Qep as a neutral city-state, while Lora surrendered in early 1602. A slave uprising in Delavire led to the Murdoh of Delavire reaching out to Nilma for help, which conclusively established the Angry King's dominance in the region and made Qep part of Mantar. Nilma renamed the state into Mantareia in 1607 SR.
Nilma was described as extremely charismatic, intelligent and enlightened. He could read and devoted at least two hours per day to reading. He forced many in his circle and later in his court to be able to read and recite the history of Heran. Well educated in history and politics, he was wary of the military and did not trust the army as an institution, firmly believing that military should be secondary to the political and the religious. Ironically, he had very strong support of the military as Angry King, which allowed him to rule as ruthlessly as he had.
His other notable character trait was bitterness. According to Davi, he was "as much driven by his intellect and he was by bitterness and thirst for revenge. His belief in fairness and diplomacy over the course of his life was replaced by cynicism and a contrarian form of thought, devised to defy expectations: those that he considered to be his enemies should be surprised by his every move. They grew to know him as a diplomat and a shrewd politician, but he will make them swim in rivers of fire, their children weeping under the slavers whip, their elderly parents sent to die in the desert..."
Nilma's ruthlessness was a trait that became more apparent later, when his years of exile were examined closer by Davi. Nilma relied on having close relationships with people of different beliefs, political allegiance and origins. He was even given the affectionate nickname of "our only true friend", referring to his vast and dedicated network of allies. But apart from using his charisma, he would also revert to blackmail, spying and political murder. Throughout the 1570s several Qep Murdohs and Jeens were said to had been poisoned on the orders of Nilma.