Children of Thunder or War in the Ivory Kingdoms.
House Metai is the result of a Rajput learning a lesson. Around the mid 5th century, Metai Rajput took his army of 5,000 men, independent of his brother the Raja and moved to launch an assault on the lands of a Cholsan ally, House Baskhaar. The reason behind this was that the Baskhaaran Raja, when Metai visited had supposedly offered him an insult. The march through the Cholsa’s northern border led to the Cholsa Raja mustering all his men (25,000 men, 15,000 of which were horsemen), along with the Baskhaaran Raja, mustering his 30,000 infantrymen. Baskhaarans to the front, Cholsans to the left, mountains to the right and as Metai began a war council, a messenger from his brother came, stating that he would no suffer his brother to began a huge war for no reason at all, and that the same message was being sent to the other armies. In told, 5000 Rajput facing 20,000 of their brothers and 55,000 enemies. Outnumbered and completely outclassed, caught between their commander and their lord, most of the Rajput left Metai to join their brothers. With barely a hundred men staying with him, Metai was incensed, grinding his teeth in rage. Against all good sense, Metai charged the Baskhaaran army, hoping to hack his way to the Raja before he fell. The Rajput were cut down by archers from Cholsan and Baskhaaran lines, leaving only 5 men with Metai standing. Their armour filled with arrows, wounded multiple times, their charge continued. The Baskhaaran Raja Riglai Baskhaar, amazed at this lead his guard with him and engaged them personally. The 5 Rajput fought like their namesake, but time and wounds took their toll. By the time that the fight between Metai and Riglai finished, only 3 remained. Their commander lay on his back, with Riglai holding his spear to his throat.
In the aftermath, when all three had been bound and caged by the Rajput, the three Raja had a discussion about his fate. Whilst his brother advocated he be killed for disobeying his lord and threatening war for no purpose, and the Cholsan Raja suggested he be ransomed back to the Rajput, Riglai had a more cunning plan. He proposed that, for the men whom Metai had slain, that he pay a price. This the Rajput agreed too, and it was agreed that for each man he slew, Metai would serve the Baskhaaran Raja for 10 years. He killed 7 men, making it unlikely he would ever leave Baskharran territory. As the years went by, Metai went from young, impetuous warrior to seasoned leader. He learned the lessons taught to him by his former enemy Riglai, and served 3 Rajas. Suprisingly, he served out his 70 years, and the last Raja, Harim Baskhaar appointed him as his sucessor, as he had no children of his own. His line has ruled those lands since then, but the remains of the Baskhaaran ruling family through more distant branches have been preserved, and remain as great landowners and feudal chieftains.
The land of the Metai are fertile and largely flat, with the river Khratan running down the centre of their lands. Small woods dot the landscape, as well as a few hills to the north with sizable veins of iron in them.
The Metai, like their namesake, are very militant in outlook. Though they won’t begin a war for nothing, military action is the standby solution to most issues. Unusually for the kingdoms, they breed elephants for use in war, mounting archers with heavy draw recurve bows in howdahs on top. Their smaller, more domestic elephants they trade through the kingdoms, but their elephants provide them with a shock assault force the like of which is nowhere else found. The remains of their army is well trained heavy infantry armed with swords and spears. Their tacticians are well known for their skill in offensive operations, but they are easily the match for any general from the other kingdoms. They can muster somewhere in the region of 100 trained elephants and 45,000 warriors at their height,
The politics of the Metai are primarily done by their military forces. If they have an enemy they need to remove, or gains they wish to make, they arm for war. Whilst they do negotiate after a military operation, they tend to use the sword first to put them into a superior position at the bargaining table. They skirmish heavily with the Cholsa, whose influence at court tends to keep them from major losses, but their real conflicts are with Rumas. The trained legionaries of the Rumas have repelled the Metai many times, but with the rise of the Ruhmalists, perhaps the strength of the Rumasan will be stretched thin to deal with the Metai…..