The Alpamysh, part 5: the war for Barchin begins
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Editor’s note: The ambassadors of Taysha Khan and Karajan return and try to spin Barchin’s deferral in favor of their masters, but matters quickly backfire and war soon erupts, leaving many casualties in its wake. neweurasia’s Paksoy’s translations of the ancient Turkic epic continues!
The war between Taysha Khan and Karajan marks the end of the epic’s first phase and the foundation-laying for the introduction of the main character and hero, Alpamysh. The above image is a nineteenth century woodcarving depicting a battle between Mongols, depicting in frenetic form something of the furious intensity with which Central Asians once conducted their wars.
Ambassadors left. Taysha Khan’s ambassadors reported that [Barchin] would marry him; Karajan’s ambassadors told [Karajan] that she would marry him [Karajan]. Taysha said: “I will marry her.” Karajan said: “I will marry her.” Both were determined. They were at loggerheads over Barchin: “What is your business? What concern of yours?” they queried of each other.
Words became soldiers; their noise reached the sky. Both sides became enemies. If one was to look towards nine directions, one could behold nineteen thousand warriors. Warriors with red-colored lances. White and blue tents were erected in camps.
Battle took place. The blood [of the warriors] ran down the breasts of the horses and down the stirrups. The black stones of the roads formed new roads and bridges. Fighters slew each other.
Barchin was the cause. Believe it or not. For four months Kalmaks struck each other down.
End of Part 5