Sangarunya and Zäimbär
Copyright Eric Dubourg ©2001
Edited by Joe Mandala for The Guild Companion
The actions of the Sapthîn order during the Civil War were successful enough to prevent Bellakar from protecting Tulwang in any way. But Balakkhâd's failed assaults here did not result in his beheading - he was instead given the chance to create the Sapthîn Order and redeem himself. In the south, the Army of the Southern Dragon began again to coalesce, and the Sapthîn were given minor tasks in Dûshera and Anbalukkhôr, and were tasked to recruit for the new Army.
Though the Sapthîn during the reign of King Khâruzîr did not enjoy the influence they had under Narakhîn, some important families were still attracted to the Order (which by this time had begun to lose its fair-seeming guise). Some of these same families joined the Creed of Men in Umbar, and the two evil organizations became closely linked.
Among these men were Zimraphazân, a man from Narakhîn's family, who hated the Gondorians with an unhealthy passion. He was responsible for many attempts on King Khâruzîr's life in a futile attempt to reestablish his family to the throne of Bellakar. After the last attempt (12 Mizir 1610), he fled to Umbar and joined the Creed of Men. He was accompanied by Sazariel, the daughter of Abârzagar (who had been the Umbarean asapthubêth of Narîk-zadan). In Umbar they joined Ranculir (an Advocate for the Creed of Men and the youngest brother of Sangahyando). Zimraphazân and Sazariel were soon thereafter married.
This group endeavored to subvert the Council of Captains, constantly favoring actions against the reunified kingdom of Bellakar (following the direction of the High Priest of the Creed). They were largely unsuccessful, as the Creed of Men was not as influential as it had been before Umbar's defeat in 1050. Rumors began to spread of a dark cult still surviving in Umbar and Northern Bellakar. The sources of these rumors were traitors to the Sapthîn, who renounced the order and swore fealty either to the Council in Umbar or the Bellakarian King. Around 1623, the Council of Captains began to actively pursue the rumors, employing nearly every tool they could to root out such evil influences.
The Creed of Men was consequently in danger, and Gastmorgath (the leader of the Creed), allowed the Council to 'discover' a dark temple in Umbar (though not the main Temple, The Lair of the Dark). The compromised temple was overseen by the High Priest, Ranculir. Gastmorgath suspected Ranculir of treachery, and so allowed him to be captured and tried. This betrayal of his own allowed Gastmorgath to save the Creed from extinction, and insured his continuing leadership of the cult until he was assassinated by his own second-in-command, Morarthdur, seventeen years later.
Both the Free Sharks (which were kept in place by Khâruzîr after his accession) and the Umbarean militia found many secret places of the Sapthîn Order and the Creed of Men after only three months of research. The "secondary" temple was destroyed and its inhabitants killed except for a few of them who managed to escape to the east and south. Zimraphazân, son of the Usurper Narakhîn, the High Priest (Ranculir) and many others were taken into captivity. Zimraphazân was turned over to Bellakar as a sign of good will, and Ranculir was executed soon afterwards.
The fallen Tumakveh prince was held in captivity for one month in Nîlûlondê, until the arrival of his father, who was briefly allowed to return from exile for the trial. He was informed of all his son's actions against the realm, and condemned them all, saying, "The man who is here is no longer my son, but a pawn of the Dark Enemy. Do with him what you will - kill him or exile him. I do not think him worthy of my name." The next morning, Zimraphazân was executed, and Narakhîn returned into exile.
Sazariel managed to flee the purges in Umbar with her two young sons. The elder, Zâimbâr, had been born in Darat 1617, and the younger, Sangarunya, born in Dahlat 1622. The small and broken family fled to Bozisha Dar, where the two boys began their training. Sazariel raised them to be loyal to her dead husband's Lord and Master, Mulkhêr.
In Ishat 1626, Sazariel contracted a fever, and fearing her death she revealed to Zâimbâr his ancestry as a Tumakveh prince, and son of the 'wrongly deposed' King Narakhîn. This was a shock to the young man, who had been raised to believe he was an Umbarean. He immediately departed for Bellakar to seek his inheritance, already plotting to reveal himself as the true heir of the Tumakveh.
In Bellakar, he learned that Khâruzîr has deposed his grandfather and was known as the "Stranger King." He also learned that his grandfather had been exiled to the Monastery of True Faith. He could learn nothing of his father, however. It was as if Zimraphazân had never existed. He searched for years for news of his father, and learned nothing more than whispered rumors. He attempted an unsuccessful rebellion against Khâruzîr, but found no real support among the people of even northern Bellakar. His only supporters were aging remnants of the alliance his grandfather had forged. He consequently left Bellakar a bitter man, with the firm intention of returning as King one day, and imposing his 'true' religion - the worship of Mulkhêr.
Zâimbâr then traveled to the distant south. He visited Tulwang, Anbalukkhôr, the Seven Lands and even Mûmakan, finally joining the Army of the Southern Dragon in Ishat 1633. He demonstrated his competence as a warrior and tactician during minor actions Dûshera and Anbalukkhôr (in Zajantak, on the northern slopes of the Yellow Mountains between Chennacatt and Curinshiban). He was noticed by Akhôrahil, who summoned him to Ny Chennacatt in Kuralid 1641, the very day that the Warlord Tartas Izain was condemned to death for his loss of Sîrayn to clan Másra. Akhôrahil made him Warlord of the Thon an-Khârlôkh, and his first action as Warlord was to perform the execution of Tartas Izain. Zâimbâr was given the task of conquering Tulwang and Anbalukkhôr, and was warned that betrayal or failure would result in the same fate as Tartas Izain.
About this same time, Sazariel (who had survived her fever) and Sangarunya left Bozisha-Dar. Upon leaving, Sangarunya instigated a fight with a young Haradan warrior named Pon Ivic, who would one day become a member of the Council of Regents in Bozisha-Dar. The pair traveled to Ny Chennacatt, where Sangarunya joined and rose quickly in the ranks of the North Wind. He was soon, and surprisingly, made Warlord of the North Wind. The order was given to Zâimbâr directly from Akhôrahil to make the promotion. Sangarunya's subsequent victories in Tulwang and Anbalukkhôr would later prove his swift ascension in rank justified.