Remember how our fathers or grandfathers narrate stories about all these kingdoms and hidden cities with beautiful maidens and brave warriors. This story is entirely fictional. This is the story of Muziri, a harbor town lost through the pages of history.
Read the earlier parts of the story here –
The Chola Pride
Mahodayapuram was very perplexed about this sudden upsurge of prosperity at Muziri. They lost the diligent workers and the massive ships that Muziri offered. The malicious joy of being a middleman was in question. The Maharajah was enraged about this uproar. He consulted with the other kings to ensure a counter-attack such that the Raja of Muziri would be taught a proper lesson. The attack would also remind other neighboring Chola kingdoms their pride and stronghold were at stake here. He consulted his chief commander Rama Varma on how they could plan this attack.
Rama: Maharaj, we have enough weapons and men to bring them here bound in chains. We can set fire to anything they love and possess. We can behead both the father and son with no questions asked!
Maharaj: Rama! I am the king here. The whole Chola race has been disgraced. Where was your vigor when they killed all our soldiers and took away our goods? So unless you can honestly do something about it, you will not utter a word!
Rama: Yes, Maharaj.
Maharaj: Killing them is not enough. They have started an idea, a vision of independence. When I look around at my people, Rama, they don’t fear me. I want that fear back.
We need to create a fight between father and son.
Rama: But who or what will be the catalyst to that Maharaj?
Maharaj: An ultimatum will do. Send a message to Muziri.
Rama: We can invade and crush them under our elephant brigade.
Maharaj: And do what? Waste soldiers on them? No, never. We send a message to them. They still are under our control.
Rama: Serve them an ultimatum for what?
Maharaj: The throne itself
While there was planning going on one side of Mahodayapuram, there was a great disgust among the foreign camps in the hills. The foreigners were enraged that they could not even dent the army of the Prince. They were discussing delivering a counter-attack too.
Qin Jung: We attempted to follow the Romans here by conducting trade in Muziri. But they are at the mercy of Mahodayapuram. The Maharaja must be plotting his plan. But surely Muziri wouldn’t last for long.
Samad: We cannot wait for something to happen, Qin. We must act. We should ensure that Muziri will no longer be on the map. They have insulted our troops. They will pay for this.
Sharaman: I think I know exactly how to make them disappear. It does not involve any bloodshed. We’ll have to use our intelligence here.
Samad: We are listening Sharaman, go ahead.
Sharaman: Many years back, the Maharaja requested us to build a dam across this tributary of Periyar that originates in this peak called Kottamalai since there was a dam near the Veeranam river which was built during the rule of the Greater Cholas. So the jealousy among these two kingdoms helped us to get into the good books of the Maharaja. So we already started construction. Furthermore, we have a great escape plan from all this to finally rule this land.
Qin Jung: How can a mere dam help us overthrow Muziri?
Sharaman: See, we cleared all these forests for many years. The soil over there is loose and infertile. The inhabitants themselves helped once they knew about the water that they were going to receive. We used all those logs to make the dam and completely block the tributary.
Samad: But do you think it can withhold the pressure of the tributary. It’s a vast source of water. Building it with cut stones like the ones we have in the Middle East would have been better.
Sharaman: We need it to break and overflow. It will flood the mainlands and carry off everything in massive landslides!. All we need to do is sit back and see how Muziri becomes nothing.
Qin Jung: This indeed is a deadly plan. Is the dam finished?. How long will it take to overflow?
Sharaman: It will take months, but surely Muziri will fall. We need to rely on the heavy rains here.
The three men clunked their glasses together as they waited for the doomsday to arrive.
The next day, a messenger from Mahodayapuram was sent to Muziri to serve an ultimatum to the father and son.