Okay, so let's get back into the swing of things. I've been thinking of ways to alter the Khan's pre-Primarch days, something to alter his perception of the Imperium from the get-go and help give precedent for his actions during the Heresy. I've been holding off on mentioning it because I'm using a real-world reference and it took me forever to recall enough details on it to look it up and make sure I'm getting my facts straight. Which, now that I think about it, was pointless. I'm using it as a source for some imaginative explorations, what the hell does it matter if the source is accurate? I'm not putting it in verbatim after all.<br /><br />Anyway, Jaghatai Khan is obviously Genghis Khan. He comes from the Space Mongolians, who share their world with a monolithic civilization, the Space Chinese. That's the obvious bit. I'm going to add some European Barbarian/Rome stuff, though. It is rather fitting, as the Space Chinese are led by the Palatine, which happens to be the name of the biggest hill of Rome. The City of the Seven Hills. The Hill where the Emperor lived. See, there was this guy named Arminius who was raised as a hostage in Rome. Kind of going along with the belief that if Rome made this barbarian a Roman, then his people, once he led them, would not be a threat to Rome. Big mistake, as Arminius went on to unite the Germanic tribes and kick the Romans the heck out of their Teutoberg Forest. Then he got assassinated by the other Chieftains because an Emperor bribed them, but we'll leave that part out.
The part I want to add in is this hostage situation. So here's my thinking. Jaghatai is no Khan. He's still the son of a Khan. On a tragic day, his father is slain by soldiers of the Palatine, led by a noble on a hunting trip among the savages. This noble saw in the Khan's young son some promise and had him captured. The young Jaghatai was dragged in chains to the Palatine's Palace. There he would be held as a hostage, but outwardly would be led to believe he is a guest of honor. Jaghatai will spend the next few years within this immense Empire. Here he will learn the ways of war, the etiquette of the high life and the simple needs of a civilized life. But always a desire for revenge will burn within him. Eventually, Jaghatai's progress couldn't be ignored. He could outmaneuver any of the Palatine's generals during wargames, he could spin the Great Senate around his finger with his articulate speeches and had begun teaching the oldest sages of the land ever since they ceased being able to teach him anything. Jaghatai was brought before the Palatine, well-manicured, shaved and mannered and declared a citizen, a free man. Here the Palatine's true plan will come to light. Jaghatai will be returned to his people out on the plains, where he will lead them to the Palatine to bend the knee.
For a time, the Palatine will probably think his plan worked. Jaghatai will return to his people. First, he goes to the Kurayed, a tribe that always hated the one his father led, now long gone, and who Jaghatai suspects orchestrated the attack that killed his father and his tribe. He will challenge the Kurayed Khan and emerge victorious. With a bloodthirsty ambition, the Khan will take into his fold tribe after tribe. Those who came to him were allowed to remain the leader of their tribes. Those who refused were destroyed, the survivors absorbed by other loyal tribes. With single-minded determination, Jaghatai will forcibly take all of the tribes of his people to him and declare himself the Great Khan.
Then, he will march upon the eastern Empire. The Palatine will probably be looking on with unrestrained greed, his lust for power blinding him to the fact that the hostage child had not grown into anything close to loyal to him, and was not marching just to bend the knee. Jaghatai will take his tribesmen and he will tear the greatest Empire the world had ever seen apart. Brick by brick, city by city, until he reaches the walls of the Palatine's palace. With the greatest horde ever seen upon the face of this world, Jaghatai Khan, truest owner of the title of conqueror, will raze the greatest city to the ground, leaving no survivors.
Then, his revenge spent, the Khan will retreat from the world. No longer are there individual tribes and so he remains their Great Khan. The peoples once ruled by the Palatine are now enslaved, their homes, lives and wealth the spoils of war. Though uncaring of what it meant for him, the Great Khan was ruler of all Chogoris. To Jaghatai, it meant nothing more than to stay within the dim confines of his great tent, within which he could enjoy those spoils reserved for him.
It will be within this tent that a strangerr will enter. Striding past various articles of wealth, glittering and shining, past shivering, huddled women, past the rows of lethal weaponry and sturdy armors of various designs, past the ranks of the Khan's blood-brothers, hardened men with hungry eyes, and on to the raised platform upon which the Khan reclined upon a throne of heavy furs.
Casting his eyes back to the various scenes playing out within the Great Khan's grand abode, the stranger will speak. "You have obtained for yourself an Empire you know nothing about. You have made yourself ruler, while knowing nothing about how to rule. You are a general, I can see. Not a king. Not an Emperor. I am. I am the only Emperor. The only one that ever truly was, the only one that will ever be. You were destined to be my general. It was a destiny I wrought with my own hands. Come, Jaghatai. Live the life you are most comfortable with and serve me."
With this, the Khan will rise from his throne and step down to stand before the stranger, speaking as he goes. "With my sword and bow I have forged these lands into mine. I have challenged the many Khans of my people, and of those who are not, and I have bested every one. I am the Great Khan and all this is mine, a destiny I wrought with my own hands. You dare demand I serve you, stranger, without having the decency of besting me first?"
"If I must challenge you to gain your loyalty, then I accept."
The two will battle throughout the night, each taking up various arms from the great spoils Jaghatai had accumulated. An intense battle, raging unabated for hours until that moment of treachery. Khariggis Khan, a charismatic and ambitious leader of men and blood-brother to the Khan, sees opportunity and strikes. A powerful bolt, fired from a strong bow of the plainsmen, streaks from Khariggis Khan towards the Great Khan's back as he stands with blades locked against the stranger. Seeing the danger, the stranger reacts with heretofore unseen strength and speed, reversing places with Jaghatai and taking the heavy arrow directly into the back. Immediately the other blood-brothers leap into action, some at Khariggis and others in his defense. Whatever outcome that brief struggle may have come to, the enraged Great Khan ended it with a sweep of a long sword, decapitating Khariggis and two other traitors with one swing. Afterward, the Khan turns to the surely deceased stranger, confusion wrought upon his face. However, the stranger still stands, seemingly unharmed but for the bloodied arrow clutched in his hand. And thus, the Emperor of Mankind casts off the illusion he'd been wearing. His resplendence will bring all, slave and warrior alike, to their knees. The Emperor asks once again for the Khan to kneel before him. With an unexpected wave of realization that he knew who this man was, the Khan kneels before the Emperor and pledges his life to the Emperor.
. . . And, eventually, he will discover that it had all been just another elaborate illusion. Once again, he was nothing more than a hostage, honed into a weapon for no purpose than to give a man of power more power. And he will once again forge his own destiny.
Edited by Cormac Airt, 27 March 2013 - 02:15 AM.