The Story of the Mongols Scenes from a 13 part play by Ben Needle of Kell High School By: Thomas DeFeo, Chris Griffith, Andrew Jackson, and Scott Smyre
Scene 1: The Mongol Meeting
Narrator: The steppes of Central Asia were once inhabited by nomadic tribes
These tribes dominated the region until the formation of the Mongols.
Mongol 1: Hey how’s your tribe doing?
Mongol 2: Oh, we’re doing fine, we, ya know, go around from place to place on account of us being nomads and all.
Mongol 1: Oh yeah?
Mongol 2: Yeah.
Mongol 1: Hey, I’ve got a great Idea!!
Mongol 2: What’s that?
Mongol 1: Why don’t we band together so we can become more powerful and maybe then we will get a powerful leader…and then…yada yada yada, we can do a little world domination.
Mongol 2: Sounds good to me. I don’t know about you but I have worked up a Mongol sized appetite here. How about we have a nice plate of meat with a sip of milk?
Mongol 1: Sounds like my cup of “milk” since we are nomads, lets use what we have.
Mongol 2: Ok
Narrator: Ah yes, the staple of the Mongol diet was meat and milk provided by their herds and it was supplemented by grains from when they were sedentary.
Scene 2: The Emergence of Chingis Khan
Narrator: The Mongols rose to power under the rule of Chinggis Khan (aka Genghis or Temujin) who would be the first to unite the tribes of Central Asia. But who was this leader???
Temujin’s Father: Ahhhhhh, my son, I have been poisoned by agents of a rival nomadic group!!
Temujin: Oh, woe is me, father, what shall I do?
Temujin’s Father: You must take my place, son.
Temujin: But I am only 13!
Temujin’s Father: Blah, oooo, uch, ahhhhh! (dead)
Temujin: Nooooooooooooooo! Well, at least I have my fathers trusted servants to help me rule the coalitions of tribes my father created.
Narrator: He was the head of the Mongol Tribes that consisted of roughly 30,000 families. Initially, when he became the head of his tribe he was abandoned by his father’s supporters and then captured by a rival tribe. He later escaped.
Temujin: Apparently I was wrong about the whole father’s “trusted” advisors. Now, here I am in the year 1182, captured by a rival tribe and humiliated!
Scene 3: Temujin’s Struggle for Freedom and Power
Narrator: Temujin’s early experiences as a teenager truly tested his determination in life as was evident while he was held captive.
Captor 1: Ha, think you’re so special, how do you like me now!!!
Temujin: (aside) Not so much, however, he may not taunt me for much longer!
Ah…the midnight hour is upon us, now is my chance for freedom. My time for a daring escape is now! (Tiptoe exit)
Captor 2: Hey, where did that prisoner go??
Captor 1: Oh my goodness, he must have made a daring midnight escape!!!
Captor 2: Oh yeah, I have heard about those
Captor 1: Guess that is the last we will see of him. Or is it…
Narrator: Temujin’s escape reunited him with his mother (Temujin: Hi mommy!!) And merged his tribe with a stronger tribe. Following this merger, Temujin began to avenge the wrongdoings of those who abandoned him.
Temujin: Hey, leader of a fellow tribe!
Leader: Yes Teumjin?
Temujin: Can I go and avenge the insults of the clan that had enslaved me?
Leader: More power to you, for it is not good to let such anger fester within your soul.
Temujin: Thanks!! Come men; let us seek out those who hath enslaved me!!
Men: OK!! Hurrah!! No festering anger, unleash the fury!!!
Scene 4: The Emergence of Chinggis Khan
Narrator: As Temujin’s power grew, so did his reputation. At the kuriltai, or assembly of the tribes of the region, something monumental occurred.
Head Official: Attention, this session of the kuriltai will now come to order. Vice-Official , what is the first order of business today?
Vice-Official: Order of Business #1, Temujin wishes to address the assembly.
Minor Official 1: (aside) Did he just say Temujin?
Minor Official 2: He sure did!!! That’s the Mongol who has been gaining some serious power recently!
Minor Official 1: We need someone like him to lead us!
Minor Official 2: True dat, he’s off the heezee for Mongoleezee! Um…I mean…he would be a great and powerful leader
Minor Official 1: Shhhhhh, quite you imbecile! Temujin is about to speak his “peace”
Head Official: Temujin, come what is it that you wish to say.
Temujin: “Those who share my fortune and whose loyalty is as clear as glass, may call themselves Mongols and their power shall be above everything that lives.”
Observer 1: What is that supposed to mean?
Observer 2: I believe what he is trying to communicate is that if we are faithful to him and his cause we will benefit immensely.
Observer 1: Well, sounds like a good deal to me!
Narrator: Temujin was then proclaimed Chinggis Khan (or khagan meaning “strong Ruler”) and the clans adopted the name Mongol
Scene 5: Trading Along the Silk Road
Narrator: In the year 1209 Chinggis began to build the Mongol Empire
Mongols came to control oases along the Silk Road, which brought great power. Travelers along this route were heavily taxed
Mongol Sentinel: Halt, who goes there?
Trader: It is I, the Grafhans of a great caravan from the West
Mongol Sentinel: What be thy business?
Trader: I bring furs from Kiev to trade with those of the East with silk.
Mongol Sentinel: I would assume that you know who I am.
Trader: Yes, you are a Mongol, I have heard that you are fierce in battle and will most likely heavily tax me?
Mongol Sentinel: You sir are correct, now show me the money (or fur for that matter)
Trader: Here, take what is necessary.
Mongol Sentinel: Have a good day and peace be with you!!
Scene 6: Rule of the Empire
Narrator: The rules of the Mongol Empire were very strict and were followed by all in the empire. When rules were broken, there were harsh punishments.
Mongol Official: The capital of this empire shall be located in Karakorum. Dost anyone have a problem with this?
Mongol Officer: From here on out, thou must recognize that there is only one ruler, and that is Chinggis Khan
Dissenter: Well, I didn’t vote for him!
Mongol Enforcer: What did you say?
Dissenter: Just because some people voted for him doesn’t mean that he should be ruler!
Mongol Official: Well, when he is dead and gone, another ruler will be elected by the kuriltai
Dissenter: Well, I think that is a load of garbage…
Mongol Officer: Kill him!
Mongol Enforcer: With pleasure!
Mongol Officer: Ah, now, back to the matters at hand. Let it be proclaimed that the individual can only make peace with approval by khan authority. Additionally, all Mongols must follow the Code of Yassa.
Narrator: The code of laws known as Yassa was to be strictly followed. The punishment for breaking the laws of the Yassa was death. It was said that a cart of gold could be left in the open street and no one would dare to touch it. Yassa kept clans were loyal to the khagan
Scene 8: Mongols Preparing for Conquest
Narrator: All the soldiers were mounted on horseback while on a conquest. They often spent years planning campaigns due to the resources and horses needed.
Orkon Assistant (OA): Alright troops, lets run through the checklist!
Troops: Sir, yes sir!
OA: Three Horses each!
OA: Excellent, now I must speak with a representative from the light cavalry!
LC Rep: Yes sir!!
OA: Do you have the necessary equipment?
LC Rep: Yes sir. We are equipped with our short bows, which are the most deadly weapon due to their incredible accuracy.
OA: Is it true that you can even hit targets 400 yards away?
LC Rep: Yes. Watch this! (LC Rep shoots an arrow across the grassy steppe and hits a yak 387 yards away in the flank.
Yak: Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaak! (A common cry of pain from yaks of that region)
OA: Now a representative from the Heavy Calvary!
HC Rep: Sir we are prepared for any close, hand to hand combat with our lances and metal armor covering our bodies.
OA: Sounds like you guys are ready to kick some foreign butt!!
HC Rep: Ummm, yes sir, yes sir we are.
OA: NOW, a representative from the messengers!
Messenger: Sir, our men are prepared to be tightly bandaged so they can remain in saddles for long periods of time.
OA: And now a word from our Orkon!
ORKON: Men, be prepared! Our conquest will be long and difficult. Food will be scarce at times! Just as on other conquests, there may be times when you will be forced to drink horse blood. However, fear not, for it will keep you strong and healthy!
Scene 10: The Assault on China
Narrator: The first campaigns were on the Tangut kingdom of Xi-Xi and then the Qin Empire
These attacks forced the Mongols to adapt how they fought because they were now facing fortified cities
They were able to conquer these cities via the help of defecting Chinese officials and artisans who sided with Chinggis.
Mongol General (MG): Men, we are now being faced with something we have not seen before!
Soldier 1: Sir, are you referring to being attacked by heathens wielding herrings?
MG: Ummmm, NO!
Soldier 2: No you idiot! He is talking about the fortified cities of the Tangut Kingdom!
Soldier 1: Oh yeah, that was my second guess.
Soldier 2: Riiiiiiight!
MG: Our traditional weapons will not be as effective against their cities
Soldier 1: So what are we to do?
MG: We will use their own people against them! Gentlemen, may I introduce to you Fu Man Chu, who is, luckily for us, an architect from this region.
Fu Man Chu: (nervously) uhhh, uhhhh, well, I feel like the best way to attack the city is by….
Narrator: Men like Fu Man Chu were an integral part of the success of the Mongols. When they did conquer these cities, scholars and other valuable people were usually spared while villagers were slaughtered and cities razed. Towns that surrendered usually were spared assuming they would pay a tribute to the Mongols
Scene 11: A turn to the West
Narrator: In the year 1219 the Mongols began to turn farther to the West and invaded the Turkish Empire and sacked major cities.
Mongol: Ahhh, we are now in the west, let’s continue expanding our empire!
Chinggis Khan: Good call! Now let us continue to fight!
Messenger: Oh mighty and powerful Khan, I have been riding for weeks non-stop with an urgent message for you.
Chinggis Khan: What is your message?
Messenger: There is a rebellion raging in China that must be put down.
Chinggis Khan: I MUST RETURN! AHHHHH!
Messenger: Yes, I thinks that sounds like a good idea!!
Narrator: Chinggis Khan returned to China to put down the rebellion. Unfortunately Chinggis Khan received a wound that became infected. On August 18, 1227, he died due to the infection. He was then taken home and buried. Prior to this time this was not done. This was a new practice as before his time prominent figures were left where they died to be consumed by animals.
Scene 12: The Golden Horde
Narrator: The Mongol Empire was divided amongst his four children and his wife. Ogodai was elected by the kuriltai as the next khan. Batu commanded the Golden Horde, which drove westward in 1235.
Batu: Come, fellow Mongols, we will now drive westward to Russia and beyond!
Warrior: Ahhhhh, we shall now expand even farther as Chinggis Khan would have wanted!!
Batu: Yes, now onward:
(Sounds of horses galloping)
Warrior: We have reached the city of Kiev, what now fearless leader.
Batu: Just as we did in Moscow, we will sack the city and continue westward
Narrator: And the Golden Horde did just that! They sacked Kiev just as they had Moscow and continued on to Hungary. They defeated the King of Hungary, however, something changed along the way.
Warrior: Sir, a report from the heavy cavalry.
Warrior: Large numbers of deaths are accumulating! With the cold weather coming, it is suggested that we fall back to return when the conditions are more in our favor.
Batu: Excellent idea!
Narrator. And just that happened. The Golden Horde pulled back into southern Russia When Batu returned home he was named khan. Eventually the Golden Horde broke up into separate khanates across Southern Russia. Jagati held the khanate of Turkestan (controlled by Tamerlane).
Scene 13: Mongols in the Middle East
Narrator: Hukalu, the grandson of Chinggis Khan was chosen as khan and changed his name to Il-khan.
Il-khan: Ha, I now control the khanate of Persia.
Advisor: Sir, might I ask what we will be doing now?
Il-khan: Well, there is no use in sitting here on our rear ends. Our rears are made for sitting on horses and so that we may increase our power.
Advisor: Well, might I suggest that we move westward to what someday will be called Iran and Iraq.
Il-Khan: Sounds good. So let us venture out into the Abbasid Caliphate and do what we do best!
Narrator: And they did. This horde stormed through the Abbasid caliphate and sentenced the caliph to death and killed roughly 800,000 other men and women as a result of their resistance to being conquered. In 1243, the Mongols also conquered the Seljuk Turks. The impact of the Mongol invasions upon the Muslim world had a profound impact. There was no central figure in Islam to lead them and the power of Nestorian Christians grew.
People of this region were relieved when finally the Mamluks defeated the Mongols.
The brutality of the Mongols lasted long after their empire crumbled. It is thought that the Mongols westward transmitted one of the most destructive forces of all time. Fleas carrying the bubonic plague most likely were transported by the Mongols to the Middle East and then on to Europe. While the physical presence of the viscous Mongol faded, death and destruction still remained.