Adonis Diaries

Wild Goose Chase in the old World (fiction, continue 28)

Posted on: November 27, 2008

Grand plan of Artax


            The ultimate goal of Artax was to weaken the religious clergy and liberate the mind of the people of centuries old misgivings of total reliance on the good wisdom and knowledge of the clergy since they monopolized learning and writing.  The medium-term strategy was to establish strong presence in the peripheries of the Empire and then fan in from many sides to the heart of the Empire.  The short-term strategy was to secure his rear bases and re-organize his army and project the impression that his forces are the armies of the people, from the people (obviously), and to the benefit of the people.  Deep in his guts, Artax knew that he had to fulfill a vow to making a sort of “pilgrimage” to China, a huge Empire, the center of all the mysterious tales and outlandish stories spread by travelers and merchants.


Short-term planning


            The short-term strategy took off by establishing sort of a cartel in the trade business.  The Silk Road was in its infancy and it was the cartel that played the catalyst into its future boom. The “Mogul” caravans used to bring silk, spices, fur, firework, and delicate Chinese products.  A specialized division of Artax army endeavored to barter its products of incense, wheat, woodwork, utensils, jewelry and any consumer goods manufactured in India and Pakistan in mid way at the town of Kashgar. The difference in prices was paid in gold coins.  On the return trip, the Artax caravans halted in Azarabad and from there caravans bifurcated in many directions. After satisfying the local needs and demands caravans crossed the Khyber Pass to serve the Persian Empire.  Other caravans headed by land eastward; the remaining merchandize were shipped on the Indus River or roads alongside the river to the port of Deb, on the estuary. (It is recounted that four centuries later, St. Thomas, the twin brother of Jesus, founded the first Christian community in Deb and that the Kushan princes were very favorable).  Commercial ships were loaded; some ships served the coast of Persia and the northern shores of the Arabia Peninsula for the ultimate port of Basra.  Other ships served the port of Adan in Yemen, the southern shores of the Arabia Peninsula for their last destination in Akaba.  Other ships crossed the Red Sea to serve the Egyptian market and the eastern colonies in Africa.

            Pirate ships were hired for the dual job of protecting the commercial ships, such as confronting other pirates or other navies long enough to permit the commercial ships to escaping, and the other job was to confiscate the cartel products of the other commercial ships or charge them steep taxes.  It goes without saying that representatives of the cartel boarded the pirate ships and they had the last words on the procedures.  The cartel trade machine became well oiled and the details for accurate accounting were ironed out after many pitfalls, misunderstanding and conscious pilferage.

The fat merchants, maharajas, and the Iskandaranian mafias had the right for representation in every sector of the trade from being affected to caravans, in pirate ships, and at headquarter in Azarabad where decisions were made on a bi-weekly basis.  Profit was split according to investment.   The major portion of expenses was paying the special Artax division, an excellent source for retaining and maintaining an army. Other divisions were specialized in escorting caravans on demands, on land, river, or in seas.

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November 2008

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