Bulkh People's Republic
|Bulkh People's Republic|
|Motto: Unity of purpose, unity of strength|
|• The Most Elected Minister||Rahani Bintuta|
|• Total||171,923 km2 (66,380 sq mi)|
|• Density||20/km2 (53/sq mi)|
Imperial entities of Punth
The Bedouin peoples of the Bulkawan Peninsula were resistant to the spread of Islam and conquest by the Oduniyyad Caliphate. While the Caliphs claimed the land as their own, they were never able to formalize the government and taxation system to bring the Bedouin peoples to heel. During the 900s the Caliphate attempted to migrate some Umardis to the area to remove them from southern Audonia and also to make the recalcitrant Bedouins someone else’s problem. The Umardi princes brought their culture to the area, but following the Shia schism they remained Sunni, one of the few ethnically Umardi ruled areas to do so. The Bulkawan Peninsula remained segregated between a Umardi ruling class and a Bedouin population until the fall of the Caliphate. At this point the Umardi princes were expelled back to Umalia and the various Bedouin tribes retired back into their nomadic lifestyles.
Early modern era
Following the collapse of the Caliphate the various Bedouin tribes retired back into their nomadic lifestyles. The area remained untouched until the arrival of the Kiravian and NATION colonial efforts in the 15somethings.
The area being arid was of little use to colonists. They moved on and found other more temperate sites for settlements in the late 1570s. From 1578-1614 there was no recorded colonial activity in the area. However in 1615 a Burgundian West Punth Trading Company surveyor mapped the salt flats of the Chott al-Rezid and the company made a mad dash to secure the area.
Due to their nomadic lifestyle and their disinterest in engaging the occidentals, the Burgundian West Punth Trading Company largely left the Bedouins of the Bulkawan Peninsula alone and built their colonies around them. By the 1630s timber from Majanub was being brought to build a sprawling complex of fortified towns and salt mining operations. Businesses to support the efforts became very lucrative and wainwrights, shipwrights, and engineers flocked to the area. Beyond the Chott al-Rezid the Company build operations at the Chott al-Mouza and the Ben Ghilli Salt Flats. These operations brought millions into the Company’s coffers and is one of the primary financial activities that allowed for unfettered expansion in Audonia and South Punth. The salt mines brought tens of thousands of colonists from Burgundie, the Levantine Protestant communities on Levantx and Medimeria, as well as from other parts of Audonia. The port cities of Avelie and Sant Marten both surpassed 20,000 residents in the 1690s making them bigger than Vilauristre and NordHalle. The back breaking work and the blistering heat made for a seedy type coming to seek work in the colony of Bulkawa. This led to rapid development of the vice sectors like prostitution and drinking halls. It also required the establishment of a vast drinking liquid network. This drove the development of the tea plantations in Vitale, Pukhgundi, and other parts of South Punth. Becoming the most profitable colony of the Company also made it the most important and the center for the formation of the Burgundian West Punth Trading Empire. Seeking to exert more control on the political environment the fed into its colonies and to which it exported, the Burgundian West Punth Trading Company formed a government in Avelie and formalized its army, navy, and diplomatic corps. This was met by outrage in many nations both in Audonia and the Occidental world, however fear of embargo brought most countries to recognize the sovereignty of the empire in 1757.
In the Presidency Act of 1771, the Presidency of Bulkhawan was announced, covering much of the colony of Bulkhawa but ceded some of the western interior to the nomads as they were pushed out and forced to renounce their nomadic traditions. This led to intense bad blood between the colonial state and the locals. Colonial Battagnuuri knights were brought into to escort the Bedouins from their villages but clashes erupted in a number of areas leading to the massacre of the tribal peoples. In the 840 recorded Bedouin encampments in the area with an estimated population of 969,000 people, only 694 encampments and 539,000 people were successfully relocated. The remainder were assumed killed or dispersed into the vast desert waste. The brutal effectiveness of this dispossessions of tribal homelands become a model for colonial powers post-independence powers for centuries afterwards. These “Trails of Trauma” paved the way for a huge boom in colonial growth and land redistribution. Vast areas formally reserved for the Bedouin were settled and huge irrigation projects were started to reclaim parts of the desert that were adjacent to littoral areas. There was even an ambitious plan to dredge a channel to the salt stripped Chott al-Mouza in 1793 that was never realized.
Following the start of the Great Slavers Bay Rebellion a similar call to arms led the Bedouins to unite under Ali Malik, becoming known as Malikites, a proto-communist who wanted to rid the Bulkawan Peninsula of colonial influence and establish a collective paradise. Malik gathered a force of 20,000 Bedouin cavalry and rode west to forcibly gather support for his attempts. The following year, 1824, he returned with an army of 250,000. It is unclear if these reports are just of combat troops or included his train but regardless it was a sight to behold. The colonial troops balked and retreated with each engagement and the few occidental soldiers and officers did their best to forestale the inevitable. Fearing the loss of their imperial capital and the salt mines, the Burgundian West Punth Trading Empire hastily made treaties across Audonia and South Punth and redirected its troops to Presidency of Bulkhawan. A force of 45,000 colonial and imperial troops was formed and force marched through the desert to meet the Malikites head on. Arriving in the western edge of the desert in March of 1825, the Imperial army set about building a camp and reinforcing its supply lines. The massive, cumbersome western styled army immediately fell prey to the sprightly and spirited, lightning fast raids of the Malikite army. Their supply lines disrupted and their supply of food and water dwindling, they made a forced march to the northern coast. 540 men died of starvation and thirst along the way, but the remainder were met by the navy and brought back to Sant Marten. As equatorial winter set in all they decided to wait. Garrisons were established at the salt mines and some recently created farming communities were forcibly abandoned and the men impressed into a militia. January of 1826 saw the first attempts by the Malikites to probe the defenses of the colonial forces. The Ben Ghilli Salt Flats came under attack January 12th. A small detachment of Malikite calvary attacked the forward watch posts and where met with cannon fire from the fortified town. A squadron of Battganuuri knights and Umardi Sipahis were dispatched to try to find the main Malitike force.