Mount and Blade – Calradia Guide

History

The Sarranid were always a complicated people, and too their history during the Great Wars is not straight forward.

Before the Great Wars, Sultan Ayzar purchased a slave named Arwa. He was so impressed by her abilities that he made her his steward. Lacking a male heir, Ayzar proclaimed on his death bed that Arwa would rule if she married his most trusted general, Emir Baybak. Soon after her marriage however Baybak was killed in battle while fighting the Khergits.

The lack of a strong male ruler resulted in Arwa being deposed by Sultan Hakim, who quickly managed to restore order in the realm.

In Sarranid history there were no cases of female rulers, only occasional regents. Some historians claim that Arwa’s claim was not strong enough to begin with, and that Hakim was deliberately presented in a poor light, since Arwa’s supporters did not like the unbribable ruler.

Hakim was, perhaps, the most just of all the Calradian rulers, as many of his lords noted that they had great difficulty manipulating him to their bidding. This did prompt some lords to act far more honourably, and they sought out Hakim’s favour only when they had achieved anything of note.

Culture

The Sarranid were a difficult people to understand, to the rest of Calradia. While religion was one obvious difference there were also many other areas where the Sarranid would both shock and intrigue.

Perhaps the most intriguing difference was slavery. While most kingdoms preferred to capture men for ransom the Sarranid preferred slaves over prisoners, when possible. Sarranid slaves were not always used for heavy labour, like in the case of the Nords. A slave in Sarranid captivity would often be trained in finer or more complicated arts, to provide help and guidance to their lords and owners. Surprisingly, Sarranid slaves would be loyal to their masters, although tales of certain slaves revolting against their cruel masters were not unheard of, though these often had a romantic undertone to them.

One example of a slave achieving an incredibly high status, even if for a short time, would be Arwa, mentioned in the previous chapter—a slave who first become an advisor to her sultan and then, even if for a short while, a queen.

Among the slaves was the Mamlukes. Unlike the lesser nobles from other kingdoms, such as the knights and huscarls, the Mamlukes were akin to an upper-class slave caste. Mamlukes were a purely military class, putting emphasis on archery, horsemanship, and the use of the lance. The Mamlukes, due to their status and training, were some of the most powerful people in the Sarranid Sultanate, and blindly loyal to their lords.

This raises an important question to the entire structure of the Sarranid army. Mamlukes were often trained from a young age to reach their status and training. However, in the Sarranid Sultanate one could advance into being a Mamluke. Some theorise that the entire Sarranid army was not composed of freemen but slaves. While we might find this theory controversial let us remember that the Sarranid treated their slaves differently, to the rest of Calradia. A slave under Sarranid rule might have been far better off than a Swadian peasant.

There was even a practice among Sarranids themselves where family members from lowly peasant families would be sold into slavery in order to achieve the semi-noble status of a Mamluke. This would not only grant a small financial boost to the family itself but also prestige to the slave himself.

We might think that the Mamlukes, being slaves, were nothing like the Swadian knight. In fact, the Mamlukes, and other lesser nobles, followed the Furusiyya. This was akin to knightly chivalry but the interpretations of what was morally just differed from one case to another. It is unknown how closely this system was followed, since the Swadian knights themselves, while technically the epitome of chivalry, were not always honorable or chivalrous themselves.

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About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of AlterGamer.com he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

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