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Carmanian Sources

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Shahtavar, Bull-Champion (1139-1151 ST)

An usurper from Vangstal, founder of a new Carmanian line of kings, the Bull-Shahs. Before his seizure of the Lion Throne, he was a Sirdar-general named Nekmad, leading contingents of barbarians from his native land to serve in the Carmanian army. After leading his force of Uroxi compatriots to victory against the chaos horde from Dorastor, he marched on Shardash and demanded the abdication of the feeble Shah Careshtan.

Tavarmas (1152-1158 ST)

Killed fighting the armies of Dara Happa. A nation mourns! His son, Cartavar, was not yet of mature years, so Tavarstin, brother of the slain Shah, ascended to the Bull Throne.

Tavarstin, Victory's Herald (1159-1167 ST)

The Carmanian March

("Agincourt in reverse"): they lose the battle but win the war. Tavarstin performs this act of noble self-sacrifice for the sake of his brother's young son, the rightful heir to Carmania (Cartavar's mother was a Carmanian noblewoman, so he could succeed in bringing the old nobility into line with the barbarian-dominated army).

Cartavar the Conqueror (1168-1192 ST)

Here we go!!! These two narratives must have been written by a Dara Happan historian.


The omens for Yuthuppa were of the worst. Seven ravens had perched on the palace roof, and a lioness had killed an old man by the Evening Gate of the city. Try as they might, the augurs and astrologers could see no hope in resistance. So when Cartavar's army arrived, the gates were open, the streets lined with silent crowds. The Shah rode to the palace, to find the Senators clad not in the golden robes of rule, but the austere white of the Dayzatar monastics, their heads shaven in the ancient manner. As one, they had renounced their worldly offices for the higher duty of service to Heaven. The Shah left them in peace, appointing his cousin as Satrap over the unruled city, and returned to his lands.


The Carmanian host marched up the Oslir valley from Yuthuppa, and to the watchmen at Raibanth it seemed as if the river was in second flood, with the flow of light off the shining mail of the cataphracts. Like an unstoppable wave they swept on towards the noble estates and rural temples outside the wall, where the Generals had drawn up their forces.

But before their force could break against the defenders, dashing their ordered ranks to ruin, there came three noble emissaries, holding the white feather of peace and seeking terms with the Shah. He admitted them, finding them to be the Bridgemaker, Arbitrator, and Eldest Speaker of the Senate. They offered the capitulation of the city on whatever terms were acceptable to him, so long as the freedom of their ancestral religion was preserved.

Cartavar felt distaste for the wormy machinations of the politicians, but granted them the tributary submission they sought. His armies could little afford the casualties an unnecessary war would bring, and it was so long since Raibanth had taken the field that none knew what powers they might wield.

On their holiest day in high summer, the Shah entered Raibanth with his army to offer thanks to the Eternal Sun God and accept their oaths of submission in the Star Dome Temple. The city fathers not only made obeisance, but offered him the Sceptre of Rule, and hailed him as Padishah - greatest of kings - of all Peloria. Cartavar said afterwards that if he had known, he would not have gone there that day: "for why should I accept as Raiba's gift that which I could have taken from him by my own strength?"

The level of tribute from Raibanth was agreed at 400 talents of gold every year, with a pair of golden horses and eagles for the Padishah himself.

Bisoshan (1193-1207 ST)

(Dara Happan Emperor from 1185)

Bisoshan was one of the many sons of the Shah of Carmania who served in the foreign services. Bisoshan sought something special for himself, and after learning about the ancient practices of Dara Happa, he decided to endure the Ten Tests. With a handful of companions, and in utter defiance of his father's wishes, Bisoshan succeeded at the Ten. At first his father was enraged, but quickly saw the wisdom of accepting this event, and so he welcomed Bisoshan to be Emperor of Dara Happa, as a tributary to Carmania, rather than with Carmanian Governors. At that time the land of Henjarl broke away from imperial rule, and set up their own tyrant. They called themselves "The last Real Dara Happans" although they made no effort to pretend to be Emperors. When the Shah of Carmania died, Bisoshan rightfully ascended to that throne. He thereby united both lands, and was acclaimed to be Great. We know that he was a Great Shah because he had been properly shaped and trained as a Great Emperor. Decadence: Harem politics (corrupted from Dara Happan culture: their 'upright men' could handle it, while to the Carmanians it was a decadent luxury); Let's wallow in it for this reign! NB: "The harem implies eunuchs (who are at the centre of power but can only exercise it through others), illegitimate as well as legitimate sons (which tends to provoke bloody succession struggles), and the probability of excessive feminine influence, usually capricious and baneful, on state policy."

Endarkus Bullslayer

In between Bisoshan and Bisodakar is a Carmanian usurper of Dara Happa, formerly Overseer of Raibanth. See the DHBE for details.

Bisodakar (1208-1233 ST)

Son of Bisoshan. First ruler of DH, later of Carmania as well. During his reign, by 1200, occurs Carmanian Conquest of Rinliddi. Breakaway satrapies; noble feuds. One of these leads to the exile of Yanafal Ta'arn'ils, son of the horribly betrayed and mutilated (nose-lopping, etc: cf. *Herodotus for the kind of thing that went on) Satrap of Yuthuppa, and his house mage Irrippi On Tor. Stress that this isn't a proper Carmanian way of carrying on (though it was by then, of course: compare with the famous magnanimity of Shah Haran or Syranthir perhaps?), so the reader will be on Yanafal's side.

Yanistar the Last (1234-1245 ST)

Next, of course, is the Lunar Conquest, a well-known story that can be skimmed over here to avoid causing offence to its Carmanian reader (and to avoid duplicating too much in the book). Ends with the Shah-maat (*Nick says: that's the original *Persian for 'checkmate': "the Shah is Dead"; good, eh?): the death of the first and last Shahs (the divine King Karmanos, and his last unworthy descendent) at the Battle of the Four Arrows of Light, and the end of the Carmanian Empire. Note here that there was no Red Emperor until after the death of the Shahs of Carmania, proving that they were his precursors as rightful rulers in this world. This also proves that the Blood Kings were not rightful rulers, as otherwise there could not have been a Red Emperor. Good enough as double-talk? So that's where the History properly ought to end: we've shown the Carmanian nobility that the Lunar Empire is effectively the successor to their own, and that the "legitimacy" of any independent Carmanian claims to rule is inevitably in question.

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