Good afternoon. Temujins imprisonment in 1182 may have lasted more than 5 years. Though through the help of a sympathetic captor, Temujin escaped in the middle of the night and was able to hide in a river crevice. Around the time of his escape he joined forces with Jelme and Arslan who would later become Genghis Khans generals. He sought to ally himself with Toghrul his father's blood brother. This alliance was soon cemented. Now with the necessary force needed for expansion, he immediately sought out his intended bride, Borte of the Olkut'hun tribe to solidify alliances between their respective tribes. He found that she was still waiting for him and promptly married her. Temujin's main focus was to now unite the surrounding tribes and create The Mongolian Empire. The couple used her dowry, an exquisite sable-fur coat, to make an alliance with Ong Khan of the fearsome Kereyid clan. Ong Khan accepted Temujin as a foster-son.
This alliance proved vital, as Hoelun's Merkit clan decided to avenge her long-ago kidnapping by stealing Borje, and then reportedly given away as a wife. Temujin turned to the support of Toghrul, his father's blood brother. Toghrul offered a total amount of 20,000 kerait warriors and suggested he enlist the help of Temujin's own blood brother Jamuka, who had himself become Khan or ruler of his own tribe, the Jadaran. Finally with the added support of the Kereyid army, Temujin raided the Merkits. The Merkits were utterly defeated. Temujin then looted their camp and reclaimed Borje. Whilst this campaign was successful it paved the way for the eventual split between Temujin and Jamuka. Borje's first son, Jochi, was born nine months later. The legitimacy of the child was cause for debate between Temujin's sons later on.
In 1189, "At the age of 27, Temujin held a referendum among the Mongols, who elected him khan. The Mongols were only a Kereyid sub-clan, however, and Ong Khan played Jamuka and Temujin off one another." http://asianhistory.about.com/od/profilesofasianleaders/p/GenghisKhanProf.htm
This was to be the start of a bitter fight.
At this time the main opponents of the mongol confederation were the Naimans to the west, the Merkits to the north, Tanguts to the south, and the Jin and Tatars to the east. By 1190 Temujin had united the smaller Mongol confederation only. In his rule and his takeover of rival tribes, he established authority not based on family or wealth rather on merit and proven loyalty. Temujin created his own rule of law, know as the Yassa code. It was ahead of its time and still has influences around the world even today. Whilst most offences even minor ended in various kinds of death, it was revered throughout the tribe for it sustained a just and ordered society. As encouragement for absolute obedience, Temujin promised civilians and soldiers wealth from spoils of war. As he defeated rival tribes he did not...