November 15, 2011

Hari Ragat: Battle of the Cockpit

A snippet from the history of the Vijadesans:

Shortly after the settlement of Irayon, Lakan Ibar, son of Rajah Liyabtala, stole Dayang Bulanadi, the youngest wife of Rajah Matanda.  This began a conflict that threatened to destroy the confederation created by the exiles, so Rajah Sikanda Bayahari brokered a judicial combat.

It was agreed that Lakan Ibar and Lakan Makisig, son of Rajah Matanda, would duel for who would keep Dayang Bulanadi. The duel was to be held in the cockpit at Niladan, Rajah Sikanda’s capital.  All the other rajahs were invited to the cockpit at Niladan, Sikanda’s capital, to witness the event.

But memories of old feuds were stirring. The rajahs had started to align themselves with one camp or another, based on conflicts carried over from before the exile. Rajah Baginda, remembering an old slight against him by Matanda, had openly sided with Rajah Liyabtala and was urging him to abort the duel, by force if necessary. Rajah Bangkawil, in turn, was suspicious of Rajah Baginda’s intentions after noticing that many of Baginda’s men were staying outside the cockpit, despite their love of gambling.

Matters came to a head when, in the middle of the duel, Bangkawil saw Baginda’s men outside getting torches. He threw his spear at one of them and killed him, which caused a great uproar. In the distraction, Ibar slew Makisig with a treacherous blow. Matanda then fell upon Ibar, but was speared in the back by Rajah Liyabtala before he could kill Ibar. Thus began the tragic Battle of the Cockpit.

On one side were the men of Matanda, Bangkawil, and Tulum; on the other, the men of Liyabtala, Baginda, Mangawarna, and Sumuron. Rajah Sikanda and Rajah Laksamana tried to stop the fighting, but were powerless to do so. Sikanda and Laksamana then ordered their men to attack both the warring parties, to eject them from Niladan. 

The fighters retreated from a ruined Niladan, and the island of Irayon came to be divided between two camps: Liyabtala with Baginda, Mangawarna and Sumuron on one, Dimaranan son of Matanda with Bangkawil, Tulum, and later Laksamana on the other.  Thus began the Confederation Wars, which would later cause most of the rajahs to remove from Irayon and settle on other islands.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...