A few months ago, I wrote a historical-based post on the distinctions between the real-life Mongols and Pirate101's Amber Horde. Back then, I did not have a Swashbuckler - but the one I would make a month later has just recently reached level 65. The Horde warrior Subodai is the starter companion for that class, and there is plenty more to expound upon with his two upgrade quests at level 13 and 46.
I didn't get many pictures of Subodai's first promo quest, but it involved him fashioning a warrior's plume. In fact, a horse spirit makes an appearance --
Ogudai's name comes from the second Khan of the Mongol Empire, Ogedei. The successor to Genghis, he actually completed the invasion of China's Jin Empire, much like the Amber Horde overran Subata in Pirate101. A cheery note: he drank himself to death.
Subodai's attitude epitomizes what the Mongols were about. If they ran into opposition in their conquests, a brutal siege was all but guaranteed. One of the few regions that (wisely) accepted Mongol control was Russia, controlled by the Golden Horde -- naming inspiration for Pirate101's Amber Horde. Of course, Mooshu and real-life China was not spared from damage, particularly evident with the Ravaged Valley and Ashen Roads area.
A slash and burn style, basically. Brutal but efficient in conquests.
Now onto Subodai's level 46 quest --
'Khan' basically means 'King', which is a big step up from Warrior. In Mongol/Horde society, it's more of a vague, high-ranked position - a ruler or elite figure. As Great Khan, though, Hunan has a similar standing to that of Genghis and Ogedei Khan. The main point: Subodai becomes an elite Amber Horde member from this quest :P
Batu and Guyuk were much more significant than Qulpa in the history of khans. In fact, they were both grandsons of Genghis Khan, with Guyuk being a son of Ogedei. The two quarreled in their Eastern European conquests, but Guyuk's mother eventually helped secure his nomination for Khagan (Great Khan) after Ogedei had died. Batu, who was still off fighting in Europe, did not have a say in the matter.
In contrast, Pirate101's Guyuk and Batu appear to collude together, seen later in this post. After Subodai appeases Guyuk and Batu, he is granted an audience with the Great Khan, Hunan. There was no legendary Mongol figure by this name - it is actually a large province in modern day China :P
Again the prevailing attitudes of the Mongols/Amber Horde are shown in Subodai's pledge to forcibly "crush your enemies". Horses and 13th century warriors weren't exactly diplomatic in their proceedings.
A twist to the story. Dragons and the mythical Kirin (the namesake of a hoard pack and mount in Wizard101) were revered in Central-East Asia, explaining why Hunan viewed them as sacred.
Hunan had some surprisingly good drops, but unfortunately could only be fought once. Great battle though!
Batu couldn't become a Great Khan in real life, but Pirate101 gives him the title about 800 years late. Unlike Mongol history, Batu and Guyuk (and other Lesser Khans) all pitched in to have a Great Khan overthrown at Subodai's hand. Through a complex series of events, Batu becomes Great Khan in Pirate101, while Guyuk earned the honor in 1246 Mongolia. Subodai's second promo quest really provides a great mix of historical figures and attitudes, even if the outcome was quite different.
This explanation might actually forebode (or prevent) a future Pirate101 questline. But the obvious real-life reference does raise a couple questions - where is Mooshu's Great Wall? Did the Amber Horde cut their losses and stop pillaging once they reached it?
The wall was designed to secure China from "barbarian" enemies, after all, and it served as a great barrier in ancient times, but couldn't keep out the fierce Mongols. Apparently though, it saved the Jade Palace from the Amber Horde (but not Malistaire -- that's another story).
A theory: As Qulpa's proclamation seems to explain, the Lesser Khans thought of a siege on the Great Wall as suicidal. Their conquered areas, from Subata to the Ravaged Valley, lie by the path to the unknown skyway, so it seems as if they stopped their conquests there, as the Great Wall lies just beyond.
In the above picture, then, lies the doors to Mooshu's unexplored Imperial Skyway, home of the Jade Palace in Wizard101 - and likely the Great Wall in Pirate101. After all, it's hard to bypass a huge Great Wall, and we haven't come across it yet in either game. Even more of a bombshell - could the Amber Horde and the Armada be connected? As Swordroll notes, there seems to be a hole in the plot concerning the Scroll of Secrets (<-- link to post). Maybe, by some series of events, the Scroll of Secrets found its way into the Imperial Skyway, or it will involve this unknown skyway in a major way.
Another somewhat outlandish possibility: The Scroll of Secrets was taken back by the Emperor's forces, and to get it back, the Armada will try to foment more unrest in Mooshu with the help of Moo Manchu.
Or perhaps, to get back at us for spoiling his plot to take over Mooshu, Moo Manchu takes the Scroll for himself, moving it to the Nefarious Tower for safekeeping. Unlikely, perhaps, but it would tie up many loose ends, including this recent teaser from Pirate101:
Then again, Moo Manchu may be a red herring in all of this, and the Nefarious Tower could just be an upcoming glorified side quest, much like Moo Manchu's dungeon was. With the Terracotta soldiers Moo Manchu involves himself with, that whole questline has enough material for another History101 post.
What do you think? Will pirates venture into Mooshu's third skyway sometime soon, or will it be involved in a totally different storyline? Will the Amber Horde and the Scroll of Secrets play a major role of their own?
Thanks for reading if you got this far ;)