This is part of a series of RPG characters, creatures, items, adventure ideas, and locations inspired by random entries from Wikipedia. The material I create may grow distant from its roots.
Today we have Adil Giray, the khan of the Crimean Khanate in the 1600’s and a big supporter of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, an early forerunner of modern checks-and-balances governments. He was deposed when he took the Hapsburg‘s side during the Great Turkish War, and was successfully invaded by the Turks.
Giray merits a pathetically small Wikipedia entry as of this writing, with only 3 sentences to tell his tale. As with many things in life, one must dig deeper, into the story of the Commonwealth and the Great Turkish War.
There’s plenty of drama in the events surrounding Giray. The Commonwealth united two European countries into a single, powerful state that included a legislature that could check the power of the Polish king. Its Wikipedia article claims that the Commonwealth featured high levels of ethnic diversity, relative religious tolerance, and decades of economic prosperity.
Then a rebellion in the Ukraine exploded throughout the Ottoman Empire into the Great Turkish War. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth allied with the Holy Roman Empire (headed by Habsburg Austria), the Venetian Republic in 1684, and later, Russia. Unfortunately, Poland took a bad beating during the war, which led to Adil Giray’s removal from power.
Let’s make this into a fantasy scenario.
The Commonwealth faces dark days. The Empire advances, and the Commonwealth’s allies in the Holy League are ill-prepared for a continent-wide war.
Worse, the cliffs and tall city walls of neighboring Vanna repulsed the Empire’s forces. After two humiliating defeats within Vanna, the Empire’s forces have turned towards the Commonwealth.
Adil Giray rules the Commonwealth with foresight and subtlety. He is far removed from his bloodthirsty ancestors who conquered this country two centuries ago. He is no warrior on the field, but few navigate the courts of the land with more cleverness.
Unfortunately, cleverness only goes so far against the sword. The Commonwealth is fat, prosperous, and ripe for conquest. Its army, while well-trained, remains small due to disastrous agreements with other countries in the Holy League.
Adil desperately seeks information about the invading army, both standard strategic information and blackmail material on the Imperial General, Kara Mustafa. Is there anything that an enterprising adventurer could find about Mustafa that could be used against him, to turn the tide of the army? During these dark days, a few simple actions can keep a ruler on the throne, a ruler who will be grateful….