03 March 2010
Djazlah, A primer, part 1
Djazlah was discovered by the French fly by probe Boussole in 2165, with a more detailed survey by the Persian survey vessel Ahmad ibn Rustah in 2194. The world was considered somewhat marginal for colonization, as the climate is on the hot and wet side in the lowlands, but it's mountains are mostly arid, dry peaks, and the atmosphere a bit thin for Earth-normal standards, but the Hashemite Kingdom purchased the rights to colonize the world in 2205, and the first colonists arrived in 2210. Huge Osmium deposits were found by the Canadian based Bard Ventures Company in 2215, and they brought in labor from the Af-Pak region of Earth to mine the mineral for use in FTL drives. A caste system soon developed, as the Af-Pak tribes whose labor was surplus were chased by the government into the highlands, with thin air and arid climes where not much grew or lived. The prosperous Hashemites and those lucky enough to find work lived in the lowlands, where it was easier to breathe, and it was possible to farm or mine the Osmium without special equipment and where water was far more plentiful.
This new found wealth and the associated caste system brought trouble as the Hashemites and Af-Pak workers didn't get along at all, and local conditions exacerbated long standing differences of culture and religious outlook. It wasn't long before things broke out into open warfare, first taking on the form of an ever escalating insurgency on the part of the Af-Paks. The mines were abandoned by Bard Venture six years later as the political situation became unstable and open civil war soon followed. The local emir was deposed by a radical Hashemite Caliph who declared jihad on the Af-Pak "Pushtun heretics" and four years of bloody, confused conflict followed.
In 2225, the price of Osmium went up three fold and many nations and companies were returning to older strikes to see if they could get something out of them in the newer high priced climate. The French mining concern Eramet-SLN saw the data that had been collected by the fly by probe in 2165, and the reports by Bard Venture, and convinced the French government to send troops to pacify the situation on Djaszlah. Within two weeks, a Demi-Brigade of the FFL was landing in the three major cities on world and meeting ineffective resistance from the tired, weak combatants, mostly made up of rival Hashemite factions. The surviving Af-Pak tribes had retreated into the uplands and mountains to the north of the main continent and were getting money for weapons and equipment from the sale of Osmium to black market traders and quasi-pirates.
The French backed the Caliph, and brought in their own workers to run the mines, propping up the Caliph and his army to keep the mines and starports safe. They also cracked down on the illicit Osmium trade. But soon, a prophet arose amongst the Af-Pak tribes of the upper highlands...and he proposed the way of Sahad. A cleansing of the unbeliever....Another call came from the son of the dead Emir, calling the Caliph a "French puppet" and the Af-Paks "religious zelots". Interesting times had arrived on Djazlah.