The New Tumakveh King
Copyright Eric Dubourg ©2001
Edited by Joe Mandala and Cory Rushton for The Guild Companion
The nomination of Khâruzîr as king of southern Bellakar was a great shock in Southern Middle Earth. If the Gondorians reacted well, Anbalukkhôr and Umbar did not share the feeling. Narakhîn, the Northern King, reacted first by strengthening his links with Umbar. Paradoxically, the shifting political scene strengthened both Bellakaranî thrones. For three years the two enemy realms tried to destabilize the each other, and build powerful alliances. Umbar decided to intervene in the conflict, blocking ships coming from the north that might offer military help to the Southern kingdom. This blockade proved largely effective, but some ships managed to pass through (mainly those of a Bellakarâni company, the Narkuzîri, established in Pelargir) with arms and warriors from Gondor in support of Southern Bellakar.
Khâruzîr had many difficulties governing his adopted realm, even with the forced but effective support of the Regent, as many of his subjects were reluctant to obey a "Stranger King". The agents of Narakhîn in the South exploited this situation, where they incited the people to defiance and rebellion against a King with no real Tumakveh ancestry. "How could you support a Queen who deserted her own land, and a King who has no link with the Great Tumakveh dynasty, and who is from the line of Elendil? Narakhîn is the only choice we have for our great realm. Narakhîn will be able to give you great rewards, and is ready to incorporate you in his army at the highest ranks." The refrain was echoed at every level. The only hope for Khâruzîr was to convene the Invocate Assembly in Nîlûlondê. All the important families of the Assembly were ordered to attend on 22 Mizir 1603. This was the last hope for unity in the southern kingdom, which would otherwise face certain defeat by the North.
The Northern authorities were aware of this event, and sent agents to kill Khâruzîr and his "treasonous" wife. This assassination attempt was avoided at the last minute, through the acts of some courageous members of the Narkuzîri Company. The actual assassin, arrested before he could kill the king, was also part of this company, clearly establishing that even in the South many preferred the rule of Narakhîn. Despite this, the Stranger King attempted to mobilize his realm against the Northern menace. He further made a surprising announcement declaring that he was a true descendent of Belphazan II of Bellakar on his mother's side, several generations removed through a daughter, Cervaban. In the 12th century she had married a Dúnadan governor of Harondor after quarreling with her father and fleeing to Near Harad. She had two sons, and the first, in turn, had fled from his father as a child and returned, after many adventures, to become his grandfather's heir and reigned as King Sakalkhâd. The second son was the ancestor of Prince Anardil; only Imruzîr II had known of this.
This revelation gave the King majority support in the Invocate Council, and in the following months with the population of all Bellakar. Most of the Bâitha were impressed by the strong will of their new King, even if he was a Stranger. If he was simultaneously the true heir of Tumakveh line, and also a link with Gondor, this was no more than most of the great kings of the past had claimed. If they were suspicious before, for the most part they became loyal followers of the King, and they subsequently acted many times to save their King's life against assassins.
The South with no real difficulties gradually reconquered the Northern Kingdom. In 1603, the asapthubêth of Korlea, Sakalthôr, came to pay homage to King Khâruzîr. Nîlûlondê was again the new capital of the kingdom. The alliance with Gondor was fully affirmed, and the peaceful Northern relationship with Umbar ended. Narakhîn was allowed to live but was exiled to the True Faith Monastery, where he died thirty-three years later. Khâruzîr became the sovereign of all Bellakar in Kuralid 1603, after having escaping ten attempts of murder and presiding over a destabilized realm for five years.
In the meantime, the Corsair captains of Umbar learned of the new alliance between Gondor and Bellakar, and decided "as a sanction" to land attacks against Mardruak and Felayja lands. These attacks were unsuccessful as Khâruzîr, a true descendant of the Ship Kings, was fully aware of the naval tactics of Corsairs. Commanded by clever captains, the navy of Bellakar won several victories at sea against Corsair squadrons. These victories were, for the Bellakaranî, "a justification" that their new King was their rightful King, even if weather and enemy blunders had played a large part in them.
The Corsair's encroachments continued until early 1610, when a series of victories at sea against Corsair squadrons allowed Bellakar to negotiate an "Understanding" with Umbar. With strong Gondorian support, Khâruzîr also negotiated diplomatic and mercantile ties with a dozen realms from the lands south of Harad, including Khâradûnê and Zimrathâni. Full-scale trade was established within southern Endor.