The Let's Play Archive

King of Dragon Pass

by Haifisch

Part 2: Tarsh

Tarsh is one of the two major kingdoms that will in the future inhabit Dragon Pass. They are Orlanthi; the other kingdom is Sartar. Tarsh was foundedi n 1330 by Arim the Pauper. At the time, Dragon Pass was forbidden to humans, so it was a desperate move. Arim befriended several other races - Henereel the Centaur and Benst Beel of the Grazers. We've not met either of those groups. It is said that he made peace with a dragon, or perhaps a dragonewt. (We've not met them, either. Dragonewts are a humanoid race that is the spiritual precursor to dragons. Dragons have a complex life cycle that involves being dragonewts first.)

At Mount Kero Fin, he met the priestess Sorana Tor, whom he would go on to marry. Kero Fin is a very, very important mountain, which we'll learn more about later. Arim liberated many slaves and prisoners as he courted Sorana Tor, and even befriended the local Grazers. He united the clans of the area into the Tarsh Tribe, becoming their King.

In 1362, Arim and his teenage children headed into battle against the potent Lunar Empire. We probably won't see much of them in this game, but I'll discuss them later. The Tarshites are aided by others in the war, even the Aldryami - that is, the Elves. We'll learn a lot more about them later. The Lunars were more powerful and better equipped, especially with magic...but Arim's children, the Twins, had great magic as well.

Specifically, they literally raised a hillside and dropped it on the Lunar Army at the Battle of Falling Hills. Yeah, Arim's son and daughter literally dropped hills on people. The Twins of Tarsh were badass. After Arim's death in 1368, his son Varstapoor became King of Tarsh - elected, not inherited. Orlanthi do elective monarchy. He was frail and pretty, while his twin sister was big and tough. Sometimes they got mistaken for each other. When together, they could cause earthquakes, which they used to defeat the Lunars and unite the free clans of the northern Pass.

It's said that once, a fierce nomad army came towards Tarsh, and the Twins allied with the local Lunar imperial forces, defeating the invaders at Quintus Vale. Vestenbora, the sister, became high priestess in the temple that her father had made, dedicating it to Maran Gor, the dark goddess of the earth and dinosaurs, Ernalda's angry sister.

In 1375, Varstapoor ascended to become the immortal guardian of the Great Temple of the Earthshaker, Maran Gor. He didn't die - becoming a guardian literally means he became a minor demigod. His son, OVartien Twinson, was elected king for the next 20 years, and the Tarshites became regular raiders of the lowlands and even the Lunar cities. However, Ovartien's son turned on Tarsh's Grazer allies by stealing some of their horses, and the Grazers rode to battle against Tarsh. They were defeated in the forests around Maran Gor's temple, but Ovartien abdicated over his son's actions.

The next king was the warlord Yarandros, related by blood to the line of Arim. He was named king by right of qualification and blood - which was new and offensive to the Orlanthi, who did not trust kings-by-blood. The clans who resisted were conquered by Yarandros, and it was thus that the tribe of Tarsh ended adn the Kingdom of Tarsh began. Yarandros stormed the walls of Kafol, stealing a secret from the goddess there, and also stole the magic horse Glad Leaper, who was strong enough to leap over rivers, smart enough to use magic and had enough will to overcome his instincts. In battle, Yarandros led his horsemen personally, charging at any sign of weakness. Thus was he named Yarandros Charge-crazy.

Yarandros sought far and wide to get allies, heading even intoi Prax, where the animal-riding nomads live and hate all horsemen. We will learn mroe about Praxians later. Yarandros killed many Praxians, impressing them with his prowess, and he hired them with promises of plunder. They defeated the Riding People and son raided far across the Lunar Empire. One mercenary, though, was very deceitful: Jaldon Goldtooth, the kahn of the raiders. He led them against Tarsh instead of helping Tarsh, and Yarandros was caught without enough horsemen to win every battle. Some tricks, like using the magical Manwind, worked only once or twice.

I will end our story there, before the ending of the first dynasty of Tarsh. There were two Tarshite dynasties, but the reign of Yarandros covers some events that we might actually see in game, and I don't want to spoil it. Let's just say that Jaldon Goldtooth might show up.