Tarsh under Moirades reign

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Wed 21 Feb 1996 - 19:40:00 EET


Sorry, this is quite long, and I fear quite dry, too. I'd like to
characterize the main actors in this better, and also to develop a Tarshite
clan of Lunarized Orlanthi forced to choose sides in the Tarshite politics
of the 1620ies.

Penraltan the Gold became chief of the Grazer tribe some time after the
Battle of Grizzly Peak. While he was no friend of Lunar Tarsh, he was
favoured by FHQ4, "Splendid among the Proud", and with her blessing he
raided Terasarin's Sartar as often as he could. He did not raid in 1601 and
1602, probably because he was promised great loot from the conquest of the
Sartarite cities by the Lunars (KoS p.115).

Around this time Moirades marries the queen of the Kero Fin wind children,
and even gains some blessing of the Inhuman King, likely in exchange for a
large number of slaves sent to Dragon's Eye (as per Dragon Pass random
events chart). (This might also be the "inhuman cost" the dragonewts
storming the walls of Boldhome were paid with.)

Then Moirades invites his cousin, the Red Emperor, to the invasion of
Sartar. Initially everything went fine along the plan, but when the Crimson

Bat was devoured by a dragon (I wonder which of the four dragons of Dragon
Pass this was), the invaders are forced to do some serious magic and
fighting to force their way into the city. Emperor Ignifer receives a mortal
wound from Harsaltar the Terrible, and is brought back only by dire and
secret rites, and it takes a young Jar-eel to lead the Imperial Body Guard
and the Crater Makers onto the slopes of Two-Wink Peak.

Maybe because of his unscheduled death, Ignifer is less than grateful
towards Moirades, and installs Euglyptus, a Raibanthi, as the
Gouvernor-General of Sartar. He also orders the disposal of Penraltan the
Gold when this upstart barbarian has the nerve to demand half of the plunder
of Boldhome.

Moirades is anxious to regain imperial favour, and supports the 1605
invasion of Esrolia. These efforts are forgotten along with the entire
operation when the Lunar forces led by Euglyptus (and his cousin Tatius) are
wiped out at the Building Wall Battle. Not forgotten are the boasts of
Moirades kinsman (well, in-law) Fazzur Wideread after his more successful
"distraction" in the Marzeel valley, and Moirades' best man in the
Provincial Army is demoted.

Moirades now turns his attention on the Feathered Horse Queen of the Grazers
again. His first obstacle is Endarsdron the Black, a kinsman of Penraltan
the Gold, whose magically cloaked raids into Sikithi Vale have been a thorn
in his side ever since 1602. He apologizes for the emperor's actions in
order to end the raids, then employs assassins and gets rid of this
nuisance, and helps promote a friendly Grazer chieftain (Jarsandron
Tenherds) to the chief of the entire tribe. Conveniently (coincidentally?)
the Feathered Horse Queen deceases around the same time, and the new queen
is persuaded by the chief not to deny Moriades' wooing. Still unwilling, she
names an impossible price.

Moirades understands the insult, and the contest, and ridicules the queen's
demand by overpaying her demand. He also fulfils the other suitors' tasks,
like raiding the Ivory Plinth during the great boar hunt of 1609 and
introducing the red-tailed flycatcher to Dragon Pass, among other quests.

Moirades has become King of Dragon Pass around or in 1610, after spending
all of his country's wealth on this marriage. (He might even have loaned
money from the Emperor, in exchange for a promise of peace in Dragon Pass.)

Around the same time, Fazzur invades Prax as Sor-eel's second-in-command. He
prevents his commander from repeating the same mistakes which earned him his
"recommendation" two years earlier, and leads the army safely to Pavis.
However, when Fazzur opposes the persecution of the ruling Yelmalio family
(ordered by Gimgim?) he is dismissed from the Provincial Army. Moirades
welcomes his brother-in-law (compare Wyrm's Footnotes 12 - I find it highly
unlikely that Pharandros would marry a woman at least 14 years his elder)

and makes him reorganize the Tarshite royal army. Fazzur does so, using the
wealth he inherited from his father, and creates the most modern cavalry
within the Empire (_not_ the Native Furthest veterans from DP; they are not
listed among the Dragon Pass units because by the time Argrath invaded
Tarsh, the Fazzurites had been alienated by Pharandros' intrigues). He also
reforms the economy of his entire duchy of the Orindori lands to produce all
the equipment and support this army would need. As he stated later in his
lectures, "To equip and support an army is a costly affair, but properly
done, this is a good investment as the army yields riches, in the long run."

With the 1611 Aldachuri segregation from Sartar, Moirades claims his
overlordship over Prince Harvar by virtue of his marriage with the FHQ.
Among other reasons, Moirades was eager to gain the revenues from this
province, but Harvar Ironfist proved to be more headstrong than Moirades had
reckoned, and Euglyptus was as greedy as Ivex Devouring Dog. Still, he
managed to send his children into the empire, for education (well, in case
of his daughter, this may have been an act of rebellion...).

The Sartar situation with the decadent Euglyptus in charge was intolerable.
Fazzur still maintained close contacts to his fellow officers, most notably
Jomes Wulf and Sor-eel the Short. They too complained about the incompetence
and intolerance of their commander-in-chief. Fazzur and Moirades conspired,
and prepared an intrigue to remove him from command. However, it took until
1613 for an opportunity to show up.

Euglyptus botched the desecration of the Hill of Orlanth Victorious, and
lost four thousand elite hoplites as well as control over most cities of
Sartar. Instead of regrouping the remaining forces, he retreated to
Alda-chur. Euglyptus felt rather secure, and indulged in his pleasures.
Moirades was prepared for this attitude, and Euglyptus choked accidentally
on a (live) sugared eel. This coup was coupled with the first emergence of
Fazzur's household troops in the field. Fazzur's arrival at Alda-chur was at
first only as the royal Tarshite commander, but his experience and renown,
and the fact that he commanded the largest and best equipped contingent,
made the other Lunar commanders obey his instructions. A hastily dispatched
messenger to the Empire returned with the blessing of Emperor Argenteus.

The ensuing military campaign is well documented (in Wyrm's Footprints).
Fazzur ended the rebellion by showing off the Lunar superiority, then
treating the Orlanthi chiefs like a honorable Orlanthi chieftain would. But

for the interference of the duck expedition to Seapolis, Fazzur would have
been installed as gouvernor-king of Sartar, and might have attempted to
relight the Flame of Sartar in his own name, but the surprise entry of
Temertain spoiled this plan. This may have been one reason why he made the

ducks the scapegoats of the Starbrow rebellion...

Instead, Fazzur arranged with the fact that Temertain would become his
puppet ruler. His initial act of spirit (bringing most of the exiled leaders
of the revolt as his personal retinue to Boldhome, thereby granting them
Lunar pardon) was soon redeemed. Fazzur organized for an Irrippi Ontor
initiate to be sent to entertain the Prince's obscure scholarly interests,
and to exploit the sage's naivete (sorry, Nick) in worldly matters. (I don't
know whether he recognized his niece, and if he did, whether he cared.
Neither am I sure about Moirades, though I believe that Pharandros was well
informed about his sister's whereabouts.)

Together with his brother Wassail, a priest of the Tarsh temple of the
Reaching Moon, he arranged for the Storm Bull ritual of 1614 to go horribly
amiss, and for Estal Donge to "rescue" the prince from the slaughter of his
retainers.

Afterwards, Fazzur gains control over the Provincial affairs south of Tarsh.
Ever looking for gainful use of his crack army, Fazzur sets out to prepare
the conquest of the Holy Country, also in order to prove his ability to
conquer the Holy Country, as he boasted 12 years earlier. He spends the
first four years to solidify his position in the new provinces (leaving the

Grazelands untouched, since they fall under Moirades' jurisdiction through
his marriage).

Moirades still hangs on to his depleted coffers, and in order to regain part
of his exorbitant bride price, he attempts to regain it by increasing the
taxes. This causes most Grazer clans to revolt, and after his wife "Splendid
Among The Proud" was killed in this revolt, the Vendref joined the uprising
and sent back the tax collectors with dirt instead of tribute. (Can someone
point me to the source of this information? I know there exists a short
description of this rebellion, but I can't remember where.) After he had to
repel some Grazer raids on Sartar, Fazzur made Moirades look after the
affair. Moirades sent his generals on a punitive mission, using Praxian
mercenaries and troops provided from the Provincial Army. The Grazers packed
up and hid among the denizens of Beast Valley, after giving the Lunar troops
a bloody nose.

Around this time Pharandros must have finished his education within the
Empire, and returned to his father's court. Maybe it was he who led the
failed punitive expedition into the Grazelands? Anyway, this seems to be the
most likely time for his falling out with his uncle Fazzur.

Fazzur concentrated on the conquest of the Holy Country, now. By 1616 he had
persuaded Moirades that a recompensation for his exorbitant bride-price
could be earned in the Holy Country, and Moirades in turn persuaded Emperor

Argenteus that the Lunar Empire required direct access to the Homeward
Ocean, better than the meagre port of Corflu. Argenteus agreed, though for
reasons of his own, and promised Heartland and Cavalry Corps troops to aid
the conquest of Heortland. He also dispatched Jar-eel to remove the Pharaoh,
thereby shattering the unity of the Holy Country.

Fazzur coordinated the invasion meticulously, and in 1619 he struck. after
sweeping the Volsaxi resistance aside, he pushed towards Karse, bought off
the Caladraland allies reinforcing the defenders, and then assaulted
simultaneously from land and sea. Satisfied for the moment being, he
concentrated his troops in the first important ocean port of the empire.

The following year (1620) he faced the Kingdom of Malkonwal which had been
founded in southern Heortland after the Pharaoh's disappearance. Once again,
Fazzur combined diplomacy (the God Forgot invasion of Mt. Passant), bribes,
tactics, and magics into an overwhelming victory, and took the kingdom in a
single battle. The natives even greeted him as liberator from the oppressive
Seshnegi overlords.

The following year Fazzur prepared to take over Esrolia, when an imperial
decree overrode his plans for invasion and withdrew most of his army to
finish the siege of the insignificant fortress of Whitewall. Outraged,
Fazzur still complied, but took his household troops and specialists into
Esrolia to support one of the native queens who had requested an alliance.

This queen Hendira charmed the veteran general, and he redoubled his efforts
not only for military reasons, but also for love. Thus his incompetent
second-in-command, Tatius the Bright, was left to finish the siege of
Whitewall. Tatius did, performing horribly and sacrificing half of the
attacking forces - the best the empire had to offer, after Fazzur's elites
and the Imperial Bodyguard - to his incompetence. However, he complied to a
whim of Emperor Argenteus, and when Fazzur sent his most reasonable charge
to have Tatius executed for high treason against the integrity of the
Provincial Army to Glamour (Tatius being a member of the religious arm of
the Provincial Gouvernment, he could not court-martial him at once), he
received his dismissal from generalcy instead. Embittered, Fazzur left the
Provincial Army and retreated to his family lands in Tarsh. A lot of his
junior officers followed suit and discharged, joining their commander.

Tatius neglected the advanced state of the Nochet Temple of the Reaching
Moon and began to erect a temple in the Sartar wilderness instead,
withdrawing all ressources Fazzur had assigned to the Esrolite project. As a
consequence, Queen Hendira was overthrown, and forced into Exile. She found
refuge with Fazzur, as has been described earlier.

Moirades was ambivalent about this turn of events. Fazzur had become a
serious threat to his claim as King of Dragon Pass, as his son Pharandros
kept pointing out. However, he had profited greatly from the revenues the
royal Tarshite troops under Provincial command had sent home in the form of
loot and salaries, and Fazzur had the same understanding of a powerful
Dragon Pass region as himself. He gave Fazzur once again the command over
the Royal Tarshite Army, and Fazzur amused himself crushing half-hearted
hillman revolts and raids on the Aggarite border.

Still, Pharandros kept resenting his wealthy uncle. When his father would
not remove Fazzur from his position, Pharandros fell back to the imperial
schooling he had experienced. He didn't have to worry about the Sartarite
affairs, unlike his father, since he knew his sister was close to the centre
of power there. To counterbalance his uncle's influence, Pharandros
entertained the generals who continued his grandfather's traditions of
strategy and warfare, and supported the Phargantites. These generals had
been ousted out of their (in their eyes) rightful position of command
already the second time, and they wanted to see Fazzur out of power, and if
possible, life. Thus, when Moirades sent his troops to salvage the ruins of
Tatius' grand scheme in 1625, Pharandros and his supporters had the most
influential of Fazzur's retainers assassinated. They failed (thanks to
Yanafali magics), and when Fazzur learned of this treachery he disavowed all
bonds of vassalage to the royal house of Tarsh, and withdrew to his own
lands. There he gathered his strength, ready to defend himself and his
supporters.

Moirades dared not move against Fazzur, fearing a Sartarite invasion, and
could not redeem his son's deeds. He sent his army under the command of the
Phargantites to hold the Far Point. The next year, they attempted to invade
Old Sartar, but were rebutted at the Battle of the Queens. Frustrated, they
released their built-up anger upon the populace of the Far Point. When the
Pavisite warlord Argrath Dragonspear invaded the Far Point in the middle of
Dark Season and displayed hitherto unseen magics on the barbarian side, they
were routed.

Tarsh survived the next few years mainly because the Sartarites were engaged
in civil strife for Princeship. Kallyr Starbrow had made the Flame of Sartar
flicker on the 108th anniversary of Sartar's apotheosis (p.212), and she had
the support of the Quivini tribes, and was acknowledged by the Telmori; but
Argrath had the support of the Pavis exiles, the Pol Joni, some Praxian
warrior societies, and the Far Point tribes. In order to outdo Kallyr,
Argrath asked his fellow conspirator Jandetin the Avenger for support in
wooing the Feathered Horse Queen. The Grazer chief complied, and Argrath won
the hand of "Reaches All".

Meanwhile, the polarisation in Tarsh grew to border upon open civil war.
Fazzur's household forces were easily a match to the royal army, and Fazzur
was too experienced in military magics for Moirades to gain an advantage in
his own field of expertise. It was a tragic kinstrife among the Fazzurites
which prevented open civil war in 1629, but the tension left Moirades unable
to intercept Argrath's marriage to the Feathered Horse Queen. The old king
withdrew more and more to his studies, leaving the everyday affairs to his
son and co-regent.

The Sartar civil disorder ended when the Wolf Pirates raided Heortland, then
Dragon Pass, and killed Kallyr Starbrow. Argrath, finally uncontested Prince
after crushing the vengeful Telmori, prepared to move into Tarsh, called to
aid by Onjur Fazzurson, the sole survivor of the Fazzurite kinstrife.

In the first year of his campaign, Moirades was captured by Jandetin the
Avenger, and found his deserved punishment for the atrocities his troops
incurred in the 1615 invasion. A year later, Argrath conquered Furthest, and
sent Pharandros and his sister into exile in the fading City of Wonders.
Only the young prince Phargentes continued Pyjeemsab's line, in distant Glamour.

Mularik's reign of terror and Annstad ("Unstey") of Dunstop's reign of
plenty are described elsewhere.

------------------------------


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.7 : Fri 13 Jun 2003 - 16:29:36 EEST