Badathur

Badathur

Overview

Badathur was one of the many states annexed by Karnish during the reign of King Deymus I. Although there was at first much resentment, the struggle against their conquerors soon petered out as the people found themselves both freer and wealthier than they were as an independent state. The people of Badathur have long been content to call themselves citizens of Karnish, the culture, language and religion all having been completely embraced.

Governed by a Royal Overlord, who directly represents the will of the monarch of Karnish, Badathur, like all of the Karnish provinces, is compelled to supply and maintain a fully equipped and trained force of professional soldiers as part of the Karnish army and, as one of the largest provinces within the empire, Badathur is an important contributor. Their troops can be found wherever Karnish maintains a presence and in latter years have played a significant role in keeping the forces of Zykerathox at bay, while the other territories have fallen. The discipline and determination of the Badathur contingent have made them highly valued within the army and feared by their enemies and are an essential part of the war effort now that the borders of Badathur have become the new front.

The regions of Badathur that border with The Fallen Lands are now dangerous and covered with the signs and consequences of war. The land is often scorched and villages and small communities have been burned down, the buildings left smoldering and in ruins. Patrols on both sides of the border are common and they come into contact regularly, with violence and death the norm. With Zykerathox's forces under pressure from Hith's, Badathur has been given something of a respite. However, the unleashing of the Black Undeath which ravaged Ghent and Yeod is now passing into Badathur those located near the border are particularly vulnerable. Many have already died from the horrible plague and risen as undead to stalk the land and the Badathur patrols are as much to keep the plague and its consequences under control as it is to keep the enemy at bay. It has slowly spread and has even reached as far as the border of Karnish itself, much to everyone's concern there.

The capital city of Portmore is a major naval port. Being located as it is at the northern end of the Straights of Karnish, the naval vessels based here deal with both the occasional excursions of the Amman navy, as well as policing the waters against the frequent pirate activities that attack the large number of merchant vessels that traverse the waters around the coastlines of Badathur.

Brief History

In the great chaos that followed the defeat of Amman to Fandor and Mynax in the southern lands, and the general withdrawal that followed after the sinking of their fleet during the war with Eppen, Badathur slowly emerged from the chaos as a powerful neighbor to Karnish. With confusion and war raging in the south, as the people rushed to claim the lands as their own, there were inevitable conflicts, with Yeod, Ghent and even Karnish itself, as the fledgling nations fought to define their national identities.

Under the leadership of the highly charismatic and capable Marus Pyrus, Badathur emerged as a significant player in the rush for territory and the small, but highly disciplined and loyal force made short work of the smaller regional warlords who were also set on securing territory for themselves. Several victories over the armies of both Ghent and Yeod, who had emerged as serious rivals, saw Marus Pyrus consume much of the territory they had fought hard to secure.

Marus declared himself King Pyrus I, the first King of Badathur, and under his guidance Badathur was a serious rival to Karnish itself, who at this time were little more than an alliance of city states under the governorship of Fandor and whose entire military force was concentrating on their war with Amman. Taking advantage of this, King Pyrus I marched his army against the undefended cities of the Karnish alliance, which quickly fell before him. At its peak, Badathur stretched from Pfiyfneer in the west to Cador in the east, dwarfing all of their neighbors.

Events were to transpire against King Pyrus I, however. Ghent and Yeod, who as well as fighting the armies of Badathur had also been engaged in a war between themselves, signed a peace treaty and followed this up with an alliance of their forces which swept against the complacent forces of Badathur. Almost simultaneously, Mynax, having realized the threat posed by Badathur, sent a large contingent of the unified Karnish army to secure the lands and cities of the allied forces. As the Badathur forces rushed west to secure their borders against the Ghent-Yeod alliance, so the battle hardened veteran forces of Karnish arrived and Badathur found itself in a deadly pincer.

Squeezed between two large armies, the troops of King Pyrus I fought valiantly, but the lands that they had taken years before soon fell and the Badathur borders quickly shrank until forced to secure a disagreeable peace with their enemies. Badathur itself was a shadow of what it had been at its peak, such had been the rapidity of their defeat. However, the securing of peace also established the borders of Badathur, Yeod, Ghent and Karnish in that part of the world and secured the future survival of Badathur itself.

Life for the majority of the people of Badathur was hard, forced to work the land for their masters, while living in utter poverty themselves. Disease periodically ravaged the countryside, devastating the population, and life was short. The glory days under King Pyrus I soon became distant memories as for the majority of the population the focus was on the daily struggle to survive.

As the power of Karnish grew, so the power and esteem of Badathur shrank and old resentments against the treaty caused constant bickering between the two nations, even the occasional border scuffle. It was during the Third War of Ascendancy in Karnish, between the illegitimate Tharg and his half-brother Deymus, that Badathur made its greatest political blunder under the rulership of King Mannador. With Deymus having defeated Tharg in the decisive Battle of Thanock Bog, the exiled Tharg was given full royal treatment within Badathur, where he was embraced as a friend of the people.

King Mannador saw this as an excellent opportunity to humiliate Karnish and even saw the possibility that Lord Tharg, with the popularity he enjoyed within Karnish, could even overthrow King Deymus. With his forces augmenting those of Lord Tharg, they twice marched against King Deymus in an attempt to overthrow him, but were defeated emphatically on both occasions. King Deymus, enraged at Badathur after the second attempt, mustered his forces and unleashed the full force of his army against those that harbored or supported his hated half-brother.

Badathur fell quickly, with King Mannador killed in the Battle of Southport. Badathur was soon occupied and annexed into the Karnish empire, with King Deymus' forces set on a rampage of destruction in an attempt to bring the treacherous Tharg to justice. Although Badathur was defeated, sporadic fighting continued for several years as the people tried to force their occupiers to withdraw.

The death of King Deymus I was greeted with much joy in Badathur, but this also marked an important watershed in the integration of Badathur into the Karnish empire. With the harsh regime that had been imposed there relaxed and with the people allowed to play a full roll in many of the decision making processes at, initially, a local level and, later, even at a provincial level, the people soon found themselves both freer than they had been previously and, over time, richer.

With many of the Badathur noble houses viciously purged under the rulership of King Deymus I and with the majority of the population illiterate and uncultured, it did not take long before the Karnish culture, religion and language were soon being embraced by the people, whose lot in life had been much improved. Although some remained staunchly anti-Karnish, these were soon forced underground as secretive and dark organizations, with the majority oblivious to their politicking.

The peace of Badathur was a long one, sandwiched as it was between Karnish to the east and the nations of Ghent, Yeod and Vidor to the west. When Hith unleashed his armies in the east, it was those Karnish satellite states which felt the full fury of his mad desires and Badathur remained largely untouched. The rise of Zykerathox, however, has brought that peace to an abrupt halt. With the fall of the eastern states to Zykerathox's armies, Badathur now stands exposed as the last barrier between his infernal armies and Karnish itself. As such, its strategic position cannot be understated and the country is now highly militarized. Even with Zykerathox's forces embroiled in a bitter struggle with Hith's, fighting along the Badathur border is common and bloody. Even worse, perhaps, it is the people of Badathur who have been worse affected by the Black Undeath of Zykerathox, a horrific plague which sees people rise from their deathbeds and walk the earth as living dead. Towns and villages, and even the cities themselves, have all been affected and the plague is spreading, slowly heading east toward Karnish and beyond.

The Major Towns and Cities

Portmore: (pop: 32,500) The city of Portmore grew extensively after Badathur was annexed by Karnish, with much of the old city either destroyed by the rampaging Karnish soldiers or since demolished to be replaced with new and more modern buildings. It is now a typical Karnish city: a maze of streets and close-knit buildings, with arches and fountains forming the dominant architectural features. The buildings are a mixture of wood and stone, with thatched and tiled roofing, and two and three story buildings are common. The heart of Portmore is around the port area, which gives access to a large, natural, deepwater bay that can accommodate the large naval ships stationed here which maintain the trading routes of the local waters.

Blackfen: (pop: 9,500) The city of Blackfen was a part of Ghent, until the fall of that country to Zykerathox. Now Blackfen forms a frontier city on the border of The Lands and Badathur and plays a vital role in the defense of the border, as well as being an important way point on the journey to the besieged city of Ghendenbur. The old town of Blacken resides on a buily up peninsula which is well protected by a wooden palisade, but the rest of the city has no such defense and is the cause of much tension. Despite its location, the people continue to go about their business and there is always an opportunity to turn over a quick profit.

Organizations

Stalwarts of Pyrus
This small and secret organization remains opposed to what they see as the continued occupation by Karnish and seeks the independence of Badathur and the revival of the monarchy and the line of Pyrus. It is said that the secret Master of the Stalwarts of Pyrus must be able to trace their lineage back to Marus Pyrus himself and that the Master would become the monarch of Badathur should Karnish be ousted. Although only a small organization, they are said to have safe havens all over Badathur and that many of the aristocracy of Badathur who survived the purge under the rule of King Deymus I are sympathetic to their cause. However, other rumors circulate that minions of Hith have long since infiltrated the Stalwarts of Pyrus and that even the Master is no more than a puppet at the beck and call of Hith himself.

Rufenias' Lightfeet
Rufenias' Lightfeet were once a powerful organization spread throughout the Karnish empire, until the fall of Hochden where they were based. They still operate out of many cities, including Portmore, though their power and influence are waning. See Karnish for a full description of the Rufenias' Lightfeet organization.

Important Personages

Kaylas Mondeby: Born in Badathur, but raised in Karnish, Kaylas Mondeby is a popular Royal Overlord with both the people and aristocracy. Assertive, but fair, he has overseen the transition of Badathur as nation now at the forefront of the war and plague, but whose soldiers are both highly able and regarded. With Portmore also a significant naval port, from where operations against Amman coastal cities are launched, the people here are proud members of the empire and regard themselves highly - indeed, many others regard them, and Kaylas Mondeby, as arrogant.




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