Fangs of Ushnish (fleet)

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The Fangs of Ushnish is a fleet of warships that was maintained by the S'Kra Mur kings of Ratha. It is known for spreading the power of the Rathan Kings through the Qi Archipelago and credited with suppressing piracy and raiding during the early years of the S'Kra Mur dominance in Qi, allowing trade to flourish amid the islands.

The idea for the fleet was first put forth by Sarkhhl after he unified Reshalia, but it wasn't until 2040 BL during the reign of King Danamishen that the fleet gained its full strength and official launching. The Fangs of Ushnish remained the dominant display of power on the Reshal Sea until the Gorbesh came. The two fleets engaged in three massive engagements in 977-976 BL, 969-965 BL, and the final one in 940-931 BL left the Fangs of Ushnish decimated. The decline and eventual destruction of the fleet was significant for a number of reasons.

King Mhhkenath was the unhappy monarch on the throne in Ratha during the first two engagements. His kingdom was already in decline after the Long Winter and the negative effects of the Elven-Human War, and slowly losing control of the islands, most notably Aesry, which was now occupied by Elothean and Elven refugees that had fled the war. The damage that the fleet suffered in the first and second engagements only accelerated the process as the king no longer had the ability to project his power through the province. Trade slowed, rebellions occurred, and the threat from pirates grew without the Fangs being available. Further, the weakening of the throne contributed to political infighting that hampered the efforts of the king to rebuild the fleet for what many saw as the inevitable third engagement and it was a severely weak fleet that bravely went out to its destruction.

However, Mhhkenath died before the third engagement and it was King Kherkep that watched his naval heritage destroyed by the Gorbesh. His ministers tried to paint it as a victory that drove the Gorbesh away, but everyone spent the rest of his reign fearing that the sails of the Gorbesh fleet would appear on the southern horizon without anything to stop them. Still, without any Fangs at all, the kingdom continued its general decline as it could no longer protect itself.

This would be one of the major reasons that Kherkep's successor, King Zsehhdu, signed the treaty that brought Qi into the Seven Star Empire despite what was really a majority opposition to the idea. The kingdom really no longer had a way to resist the Empire if they had decided to use force, and the idea had been floated. Zsehhdu signed the compact to avoid being conquered, but abdicated in shame three years later.

In the long term, the destruction of the Fangs of Ushnish paved the way for the invasion of the Seven Star Empire by the Gorbesh when they again came in ships. The Imperial fleet had rarely been a priority (perhaps not wanting to give Qi too much power again) having been mostly used to suppress piracy and was no barrier to the powerful Gorbesh fleet, who utterly crippled the Kermorian ships 433-432 BL and would spend the next twenty years trouncing Imperial armies.