Summary of "Genghis Khan" by James Chambers (Part III)
Chapter III: The War of The Brothers
For the 9 years after Temujin (Genghis) was defeated by Jamukha, no one knew much because he was lying low with his small family. It was thought he joined the Chins to help fight the Tatars.
The Tatars eventually became so weak that they had no choice but to offer themselves as swords for hire to their attackers, the Chins. And like many patterns repeated throughout history, the alliance with the Tatars became their downfall (don't trust someone you used to torment to be your ally).
Eventually, the Tatars withdrew their support from the Chins once they got strong enough again, and the Chins were now the weak ones. So Temujin made things even by leading an attack on the Tatars and taking some of their wealth. Chin made Temujin the title of deputy commissioner and Togril, Temujin's father's blood brother, the title of Prince. He was then on known as Wang Khan.
Temujin had the reputation of being a fierce fighter, and tribes would flee at the whisper of a Temujin invasion. So Temujin would stroll in and take what they left behind with no fight. This happened often.
In 1199, Temujin and Wang Kan (Toghril) were camped out at night, waiting to surprise attack another tribe. But when it was morning, Wang Kan was gone. Jamukha sent letters to convince Wang Kan that Temujin would turn on him. So in fear, at night, he fled, and Temujin couldn't do anything but just go back home.
Then one day, Temujin heard word that Wang Kan was captured. Temujin immediately arranged his rescue and, upon arriving, found that the tribe had fled their camp and left Temujin Wang Kan alive. After Temujin rescued Wang, Wang realized Jamukha was the one they needed to focus on and eventually kill.
In 1200, in the valley of the river Argun, they fought. Jamukha had them greatly outnumbered, and the odds of winning were extremely low. But a snowstorm came, and Jamukha's troops started to turn home due to low morale. With a retreating army, Jamukha couldn't do anything but retreat also.
Eventually, the storm cleared, and Temujin rallied the troops for other plunder. The men were always ordered to execute only the male prisoners. During one of the executions, Temujin ran into his old childhood friend. She was crying and begging him to find her husband, a prisoner. He couldn't find him in time to save him, so Temujin gave her a spot at his table as an apology. He made sure she was well taken care of too.
Among the prisoners of war was another man that Temujin spared because he was a good warrior. His name was Todoge, and he commanded to fight anyone in the Mongol army to prove his prowess before they executed them. Even Temujin. Temujin's brother Bo'orchu accepted the challenge. Bo'orchu and Todoge lined up their horses at each other at a distance and then charged. The first arrow was fired by Bo'orchu and missed Todoge, and then Todoge shot his arrow right into the face of Bo'orchu's horse. It collapsed, and instead of slaying Bo'orchu, Todoge rode off into the distance to escape. He was eventually captured and pledged himself to Temujin. Temujin accepted and promoted him to the commander, naming him Jebe (which means "the arrow").
Temujin was strong enough to challenge the Tatars with his own army. He had enough divisions and resources, and his troops were well-trained and fierce in combat. The rules of plunder changed, however. They changed from everyone can take what they wanted to everyone must ask Temujin for approval before they took something, and Temujin was able to distribute it wiser to his army.
In 1202, the Mongols easily defeated the Tatars and captured all the women and children. All males taller than the axle of a wagon were executed, and their bloodline was decimated entirely. So now, Jamukha knew his time was coming soon. Jamukha launched an attack on Temujin. Casualties were heavy on both sides, but Jamukha ended up winning.
Once again, Temujin retreated. And again, Mongols travelled to him to pledge their support. He told everyone they could plunder whatever they wanted, like before. There was a famous ceremony in which Temujin and all his most loyal followers drank swamp water. Everyone at this ceremony was later revered when Temujin would become Genghis as "The Muddy Water Drinkers." They stood by Temujin when he was at his lowest point in life.
In 1203, Temujin launched a series of surprise attacks on other tribes. But this time, instead of executing all the men, Temujin asked them to pledge allegiance. He realized the power of ruling a tribe he conquered instead of destroying it and plundering it. They became rich fast and took over other tribes easier. His power was accelerating faster than ever before.
At the same time, Temujin was sending out swords for hire to bring back the heads of people who had stabbed him in the past. He received their skulls on silver platters. This mortified Jamukha, and Jamukha realized he had no choice but to attack Temujin, or his skull would be on a silver platter too.
The two armies fought in 1204. When Jamukha saw Temujin's army, he knew he was defeated before the battle began. Since it's been 17 years since they've seen each other, Jamukha did not realize what he was getting into. Temujin had war drums, organized marches, battlecry songs and the best armour for his men. They were also highly well-trained and overflowing with respect for their leader.
Jamukha fled, and in 1205 1 year later, Temujin found him. At 39 years old, Temujin was now the Master of Central Asia. In 1206, there was a ceremony with different tribes from over the steppes, and it was to honour Temujin beneath the Sacred Mountain at the River Onon.
Since the Mongols believed the centre of the universe was the ocean, at this ceremony, they named Temujin The Ocean Ruler (aka Genghis Khan).